A mum with two young children has told how she is facing homelessness as a result of the long-awaited regeneration of Kingshurst parade.
The woman, in her twenties, said her private landlord was being forced to sell his property as the area’s shopping hub is revamped.
But her personal circumstances, combined with a long waiting list for council housing, mean she could soon be without a proper home.
After grappling with Solihull Council for months, the full-time mum got in touch with BirminghamLive because she didn’t know what else to do. She has asked to remain anonymous as she suffers from mental health problems and fears a public backlash.
Solihull Council said it was “unable to discuss individual cases” but added its officers would “discuss a range of housing options on a case by case basis” to help families.
At present, the young mum’s tenancy agreement works on a six-month rolling contract. She described finding the property as a “stoke of luck” and, as she has always paid on time, it has been renewed for the last three years.
But the twenty-something is unable to secure a new property without council assistance. She has very little family and nobody to stand as a guarantor. She has few savings and a poor credit rating.
When her private landlord was hit with a compulsory purchase order, which allows public bodies to force homeowners to sell up, she was issued a valid section 21 eviction notice.
But, she claims, Solihull Council still sees her as adequately housed, with the local authority’s timeline working against her.
She has no support network and is without the ability to sofa-surf. A hostel will be her only option if the council doesn’t house her and she says the local authority knows about her fear of sharing a building.
“The council has not really been reaching out to me to help or anything like that,” the anonymous mum, who has lived in the area most of her life, explained.
“But they are the ones that are actually making me homeless. I’ve been reaching out to them but they just miscommunicate with each other and put me through to different teams.
“Right now they say I’m adequately housed, even though my section 21 has run out. It ran out in August so I’m waiting for court documents that tell me I’ve got 14 days to go.
“Without the council’s help, I actually can’t go anywhere, I’ve got nowhere to go.
“I’ve got no guarantor, a bad credit rating and got myself in and out of debt. Any kind of letting agency or private landlord I’m going to now are all laughing at me.”
The parent said it felt like the council were “forcing eviction” without having anywhere to house the tenants being made homeless.
“I have been a good tenant, I have paid rent on time and had no noise complaints,” she said. “I have mental health issues and care for two young children full time, which the council is aware of.”
The long-awaited redevelopment of Kingshurst will see millions invested to revamp the town centre. It is thought work will get underway in December but the project has been plagued by delays. The target date for completing the new village centre remains winter 2025/26.
Fiona Hughes, chief executive of Solihull Community Housing, which runs housing services for the council said: “The regeneration programme will transform Kingshurst, bringing new homes, shops and opportunity to the area.
“Unfortunately, this does mean that there will be changes for some of those people who currently live and work there.
“Solihull Community Housing have a dedicated number of officers to work with and support all families who are affected by the regeneration plans.
“Unfortunately, we are not able to discuss individual cases.
“We understand that moving home can be a difficult time. Our officers will discuss a range of housing options on a case by case basis to help families find and secure suitable alternative accommodation, and we are doing this to support all residents affected by the Kingshurst regeneration.
“Residents in private rental accommodation are also eligible for up to £2,000 support with rent in advance and deposit if they move to another private rented property.
“We will continue to work very closely with all residents affected by the regeneration programme and offer as much support and advice as we can.”
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