Disabled resident Estelle Willis says her life has been ‘torn apart’ by the prospect of being made homeless after an eviction notice.
The 47-year-old, of Vicarage Road, who is on long-term benefits due to suffering from a number of major health problems including a severe degenerative spinal condition, has revealed her distress at being unable to find an alternative home other than her privately-rented flat.
Speaking to The Herald, she explained her frustration at having been dealt with by a series of housing officers from Eastbourne Borough Council over the past two months.
They had advised her that the best they could offer from early June would be either bed and breakfast or short-term hotel accommodation – which she believed would not have specialist facilities capable of accommodating her motor scooter.
She said, “This has completely wrecked my life.
“I just broke down when I got the eviction notice through. I have had support from friends at Greenfield Methodist Church who have offered to assist me move out, but I can’t expect them to find a home for me.
“I have registered with all the housing agents in town and also approached the council, but I just feel like I have been passed from pillar to post.”
According to Ms Willis, who was employed as a cleaner but has been unable to work since the 1990s due to her deteriorating health, the £500 a month she receives in disability allowance is insufficient to find a suitable property.
She added, “I did find a property for £600 that would have been perfect, but the council said it could not pay the £100 extra needed for it.”
A spokesperson from Eastbourne Borough Council said, “We are doing all we can to assist Ms Wallis.
“We do our best to find permanent accommodation in these circumstances but if we are unable to source this in time, we will offer a temporary home as a last resort.
“We only ever provide accommodation that is suitable for that person’s needs.”
Commenting on the area’s shortage of properties specifically for the disabled, Eastbourne estate agency Town Rentals told The Herald, “We do not have a huge deal of properties that are adapted for the disabled, but it would depend on the severity of their condition.”