Retired couple given new home after no-fault eviction from Wakefield house

John and Anne Slater, forced to sofa surf in Wakefield
John and Anne Slater were forced to move in with Anne's mother, also called Anne. Credit: ITV News

A couple in their 60s forced to "sofa surf" after being evicted from their home have spoken of their relief after being given a new property.

Retired railway worker John Slater and his wife Anne had lived in their private rented house in Wakefield for 11 years until February, when they were given a section 21 notice to leave.

Also known as "no fault" evictions, the notices do not require the landlord to prove the tenants have done anything wrong before ordering them to move out.

The couple spent nights in Anne's 81-year-old mother's house, while her mother, also called Anne, slept in the living room.

Speaking to ITV Calendar in May, Anne said she "never thought in a million years" they would have to rely on friends and family for a roof over their heads.

Anne and John Slater's belongings were stacked up in her mother's home. Credit: ITV News

The couple said they had struggled to find an affordable alternative, being quoted up to £1,200-a-month for private rental properties.

While they also applied for social housing, they held out little hope as the waiting list in Wakefield has around 22,000 households.

However Wakefield District Housing, which allocates social housing in the area, has said the couple will now be given a bungalow. 

Anne said: "With the waiting list we thought we'd have no chance. After we were on Calendar, we got a phone call to offer us a bungalow in Normanton and we are moving this week - even the dog can come with us.

"We are so grateful and thankful for Calendar and the council helping us."

Wakefield District Housing said finding properties for families was an ongoing challenge. A spokesperson said: "This is a challenge facing all social landlords and local authorities. We are continuing to build more new homes and allocating homes as quickly as possible when they become available, providing homes to those who are in the greatest need."

Executive director of housing, Mick Walsh, added: "We work hard to support families most in need to find the right home for them, in the places they want to live. So, we are pleased that Anne and John are now settled in their new home."

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