Caerphilly woman hit with 'cruel' eviction notice from lifelong home after mother's death

Hundreds of people are campaigning to reverse a decision to evict a council house tenant from her lifelong home, months after her mother's death.

Around 700 people have signed a petition calling for Caerphilly Council to allow Andrea Long to keep her home in Greenway, Abertysswg, following the sudden death of her mother, Ruth in January. The council has told the 53-year-old that she must leave the three-bedroom house because rules only allow for one succession per tenancy.

The tenancy had already been passed over to Ruth when Andrea's father Kenneth died in 2010.The law in Wales is set to change on July 15 to allow two successions per tenancy — but Andrea has been told she must hand in her keys by July 4.

The council says it must balance her wishes with "the significant need and demand for social housing".

Andrea's niece, Katrina is asking for the council to show "compassion".

She said: "All that Andrea is asking for is for the council to show some compassion and allow her to succeed the tenancy as she would have been allowed to, should her mother have passed away later in the year.

"When Andrea's father died, her mother’s name was not on the original tenancy, even though they had lived there together as husband and wife the whole of their married life.

"Therefore her mother had to put her name on the tenancy. In the council's eyes this was seen as a succession on the tenancy."

Andrea added: "I have dedicated my life to care for both my mother and father, taking a burden off the authority that may have had to provide care for them both if I had not.

"I have had no opportunity to have a family of my own or have a social life. I’ve never been able to go out with friends or meet people due to being a carer in my home for most of my life.

"I'm not sleeping from grieving for my Mam but with this on top, it's like mental cruelty. It's draining."

The 53-year-old was born in the council house and has never lived anywhere else. Her mother died suddenly in January due to a perforated bowel and she feels like the only thing she has left is the house.Andrea added: "The quick passing of my mother has left me in a state of shock and I feel that the only thing I have left is my home.

"If I had to relocate elsewhere I would also lose the only few friends that I have in neighbours around me.

"I’m not sure how I could cope if this was the case. The thought of emptying the house and moving my late mother's possessions is giving me nightmares after such a short space of time."A Caerphilly Council spokesperson said: “Whilst we are sympathetic to the situation Ms Long finds herself in, in accordance with the Housing Act 1985, there is only one right to succession for a secure tenancy.

"As the late Mrs Long succeeded to the tenancy on the death of her late husband there is no further right to succession.

"Had the late Mr and Mrs Long been joint tenants a succession would still have occurred following the death of Mr Long."Regrettably there are occasions where occupants such as Ms Long have no statutory right to succeed to the tenancy of the property where they have resided, and the council, as landlord, has to balance the wishes of the occupier with our obligations to address the significant need and demand for social housing from residents throughout the county borough.

"These situations are dealt with on a case by case basis through a management discretion procedure. "As explained in the letter provided to Ms Long, there is a process by which she can appeal the decision of the management discretion panel.

"This offers the opportunity to request a review of the decision and to provide any further information she feels relevant, along with the opportunity to attend a hearing in person.

"To date we have not received a request for the review of this decision from Ms Long.”