Council eviction could leave boy, 10, on streets

WITH nowhere else to turn, a mother says she and her 10-year-old son face living on the streets after a council took action to evict them from their home.

Dann-Ree Thompson and her son Benjamin, of Wellfield Court, Norwich Close, Stevenage, were due to be evicted from their home on Friday but have been given a reprieve.

Miss Thompson said: “Stevenage Borough Council has sent me a letter to say that I can stay here until my court hearing, which could be in six months.”

She said the hearing is a judicial review of the council’s decision not to continue housing Miss Thompson and her son.

“The council says I made myself intentionally homeless,” she explained.

“I didn’t pay the rent at my last property, but I didn’t know I was entitled to benefits.

“The council acknowledges that I couldn’t pay the rent, but says it’s my neglect that I couldn’t pay.”

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Miss Thompson says she and her son currently share a single room, with Benjamin sleeping in a single bed and her sleeping on the floor.

She said that, had the eviction gone through on Friday, she and Benjamin “would have gone and slept on the street”.

“That’s what I was planning to do,” she admitted. “We have got nowhere to go.

“I have got no family and no friends.

“I was going to get the money together to buy a duvet and sleep on the streets.”

If the judicial review fails to find in her favour, this is what will happen, she said, adding: “It’s so stressful and the situation is depressing.”

The single mother has contemplated suicide on more than one occasion because of the situation.

“Who doesn’t think like that in my position?” she asked. “It was the only thing I was thinking, but I couldn’t leave my son in care.”

Miss Thompson said the situation is affecting Benjamin at school, with the headteacher writing to her to inform her that he has started misbehaving and “wants his mum to stop crying”.

“I’m really worried about my son,” she said.

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland said: “I am shocked that they were going to push a 10-year-old child onto the streets.

“The mother may well have done wrong, but a 10-year-old child shouldn’t be evicted from his home with nowhere to go but the streets.

“They need to work with other agencies so that child has a chance.”

A spokesman for SBC said: “Stevenage Borough Council considers each homelessness case individually. This particular case is currently under appeal. It is not appropriate for us to comment before the outcome of the appeal is known.”

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