December 7 2013 Latest news:
By Andrew Fitchett
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
An MP has called on a housing association to “show some compassion” after it opted to kick out four children from their family home two weeks after their mother unexpectedly died.
Elizabeth Truss, MP for South West Norfolk, is pressing Flagship Housing Association to reconsider its decision to evict the children of Angeline Mix from their home in St Michaels’ Close, Thetford.
Ms Mix died on September 16, two weeks after suffering a stroke on September 2.
Her 22-year-old daughter, Sasha, had moved back into the home to care for her three younger siblings, aged seven to 11, following her mother’s sudden illness.
But on her mother’s death, Flagship told her she could not inherit the tenancy on the house because she had not been a named tenant for a year, and that the family would have to be gone by October 20.
Ms Truss said she was “truly shocked” by Flagship’s approach.
She has written to Flagship’s chief executive, David McQuade, asking for the tenancy to be continued until a further review of the situation be carried out.
“I fully appreciate that there are demands on housing but the sudden death of Angeline Mix must surely merit some compassion and sensitivity towards the family. There needs to be a fundamental review of procedures at Flagship so this does not happen again.
“This is the family home and the family need time to come to terms with their mother’s unexpected death as well as ensuring that appropriate support is in place.
“I am pleased that Flagship is now exploring all the options for the family but I believe a more sensitive and considered way forward needs to be in place in cases like this,” she said.
Miss Mix said she wants to take on custody of her sister, while her two brothers will live with their father.
She says Flagship have told her the house is “ too big”, as her brothers will only visit at weekends.
She turned to Ms Truss and Breckland councillor, Mark Robinson, after being informed of the eviction.
Mr Robinson said the situation should be seen as “exceptional circumstances”.
“Sasha displays great fortitude dealing with the problems she currently faces and I’m pleased to help Sasha and her family during this difficult period,” he said.
Flagship’s Executive Director, Rod Ayden said: “This is a very sad case and Flagship has offered our sincere condolences. We are in regular contact with the family and have always been sensitive in our approach. They are aware and acknowledge that we are able to apply discretion and may grant a tenancy, subject to a number of outstanding matters being clarified which unfortunately we are unable to discuss due to customer confidentiality.
“We are also working closely with our partners to ensure the family receive appropriate advice about all their housing options. We are confident that we are doing all we can and will continue to explore all the options available.”