Mum-to-be among tenants evicted before Christmas

Residents evicted by Worthing Homes two weeks before Christmas at Church House Worthing. Pic Steve Robards SR1725601 SUS-171023-183926001
Residents evicted by Worthing Homes two weeks before Christmas at Church House Worthing. Pic Steve Robards SR1725601 SUS-171023-183926001

A heavily pregnant woman is among angry tenants who are to be evicted from their homes two weeks before Christmas.

But their landlord said it gave them more than triple the notice it legally had to.

Danielle Banks, 21, has been living in Church House in Church Road, Tarring, for more than two years – but a letter was sent to everyone living in the building to say they had to leave by December 13, a month earlier than they thought.

She said: “It is a month before I’m due. It is a complete nightmare to be honest.

“We might have to move in with my family, which isn’t good because they don’t have the room for us. But it’s the only choice we have.”

Worthing Homes is the landlord of Church House, which was built in the 1960s and was part of Worthing Hospital. Currently, the 19 bedsit flats are privately rented to residents for around £500 a month.

At a meeting in May, representatives told residents they planned to demolish the block and replace it with new homes for residents on the council’s housing waiting list.

They said January was an absolute deadline to leave. But due to the tenants’ contracts, Worthing Homes only had to give two months’ notice, meaning residents will have had seven-and-a-half months to find somewhere else to live.

Roofer Stuart Jack feared he would have to move out of town and away from his relatives to areas where rent is cheaper. He had this to say about Worthing Homes: “We have been treated with utter contempt. They have given no thought to the human cost of this project.”

Keith Harding, 64, has lived in Church House, next to St Andrew’s Church in Tarring, for 16 years.

He helps look after his 87-year-old mother Betty, who lives nearby in Elizabeth House, sheltered accomodation in Pelham Road which is also owned by Worthing Homes.

He fears he will not be able to see his mother so easily due to this decision.

Renovating the block would cost £400,000, versus a £2.6million projected cost to build the new homes.

A Worthing Homes spokesman said: “Despite various investigations it has now become apparent that works to the block would not be value for money as at the end of the process there would still be substandard housing which is not something we wish to provide as a responsible landlord.”