Godmanchester disabled woman's homeless fear

A SHORTAGE of specialised housing could see a disabled mother-of-two officially made homeless before being forced to live in temporary accommodation. Fay Bengree, 39, who has a form muscular dystrophy, said she will have to leave the house she rents o

A SHORTAGE of specialised housing could see a disabled mother-of-two officially made homeless before being forced to live in temporary accommodation.

Fay Bengree, 39, who has a form muscular dystrophy, said she will have to leave the house she rents on Tudor Road, Godmanchester, by March 21 as her landlord plans to sell up.

But Huntingdonshire District Council and social landlord, the Luminus Group, have told Miss Bengree there are no other suitable properties in the area for her and her two daughters.

"I have been in contact with the council but it's not going anywhere," she said. "I'm in the right kind of property now, but they don't have any three bedroom bungalows.


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"The council has said it's not that they won't help, but that they can't help. Luminus came out to look to see about buying this property to help me rent it, but they came back with a no.

"It's upsetting to think that there are not enough properties built for disabled people."

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HDC said it could only offer Miss Bengree the opportunity to bid on rental properties in Sawtry and St Neots. However, Miss Bengree said she relies on her mother, who also lives in Godmanchester, for help if she falls out of her wheelchair and needs to be nearby.

"I'm in a wheelchair but I have parents and close friends supporting me if I ever need help in Godmanchester. I have lived here all my life," she said.

Councillor Peter Godley, who represents Godmanchester at HDC, told The Hunts Post: "As far as I know Luminus has been exploring the possibility of trying to do something. I believe that would involve shared ownership. Fay would have to buy into it but I don't think she would have the means to do that. HDC has been in there as well and tried to find something in the area. It would seem she would have to be homeless before the council re-house her straight away."

Cllr Godley said that the lack of disabled housing was part of the general housing shortage in the area - there were 2,850 people on the council's housing waiting list at the last count.

"People like Luminus build with the backing of private development. With the economy down there's been less building."

A Luminus spokesman said: "Luminus has been working with HDC to assess Mrs Bengree's situation. We are very sympathetic to her situation and have done all we can so far to assist her and remain open to finding a solution."

Relatives and friends of Miss Bengree, who lives with her daughters Kerry, 18, and Stacy, 15, have set up a Facebook group to support her called Help Fay get the house she needs. Yesterday it had 176 members.

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