Ipswich: Couple issue plea for wheelchair access flat
15:00 14 November 2012
A COUPLE fear they are going to be left homeless unless they find a wheelchair-friendly property.
Neil and Jennie Nield currently live in a privately rented flat in Burnham Lodge, Oakstead Close, Ipswich.
But the pair received a letter in September informing them they had to vacate the property by November 30 due to a problem with the management company.
Mr Nield, 43, said: “My wife needs a ground-floor flat with disabled access so we have been in touch with Ipswich Borough Council.
“A housing officer told us that the best they can offer is West Villa and that’s just not suitable for my wife in her condition.”
Mrs Nield, 53, has diabetes and muscular skeletal connective tissue disorder meaning that she spends most of her time in a wheelchair and cannot walk unaided.
The couple need a ground-floor flat that is wheelchair accessible and has a walk-in shower to suit Mrs Nield’s needs.
Mr Nield added: “We’ve even got our MP Ben Gummer involved as we’re worried we’re going to be left homeless.
“It’s time to ask ‘what is going to happen to us?’”
An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said: “We have insured that the Nields are top priority when it comes to getting a suitable home.
“They need to bid for a suitable wheelchair adapted property and regrettably there are not many of those properties about so as much as we would like to offer them one today we can’t because there is not one available.
“When one does come up and they bid for it they have got a good opportunity because they are top priority.
“We are constantly in touch with them and we have offered them emergency accommodation at West Villa in a unit which is wheelchair friendly.
“If they were to become homeless we could offer them that while we continue to help them find a more permanent home.”