Eviction family's nightmare
EVICTION is a familiar nightmare for the Alexander family battling against an endless loop of homelessness and poverty. Stephen, 34, and his wife Zara, 32, just want a permanent address to work from and raise their three children without relying on anyone else.
EVICTION is a familiar nightmare for the Alexander family battling against an endless loop of homelessness and poverty.
Stephen, 34, and his wife Zara, 32, just want a permanent address to work from and raise their three children without relying on anyone else.
But they claim their plea is being bounced from one government agency to another.
Mr Alexander said: "No one will take responsibility for us, we have nowhere left to turn for help."
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The family were evicted from the Osborne Centre in Felixstowe last Friday. The bed and breakfast had been home since December and the children had just settled into school.
Now home was to be a chalet in Lowestoft for three nights before another eviction would leave the family to fend for themselves.
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Mr Alexander said: "I could have worked today if we didn't have to pack. Now we are heading off to who knows where and don't know what to expect when we get there.
"This is a no win situation. I want to work but it is impossible without a stable place to live. My children's education is being disrupted and the best the council could do was to advise my wife to teach them herself."
Nine months ago they were evicted from their house near Lowestoft after a mix-up over rent payments. They were taken to court when a huge bill arrived that they could not pay.
Mrs Alexander said: "We were paying the debt back under the court order but we were kicked out anyway."
The couple are on a drug treatment programme and to add to their problems Mrs Alexander suffers from agoraphobia and Mr Alexander and his 12-year-old son suffer from dyslexia.
A spokesman for the district council denied any such prejudice. He said: "After they broke the tenancy agreement with their landlord the family were classed as intentionally homeless. Now we are not required to house them or find them other accommodation."
The district council, acting as the housing authority, can only pay for up to 28 days temporary accommodation for the intentionally homeless.
Chris Lane, spokesman for Suffolk County Council, said: "Social care staff, together with Coastal Homeless Action Group, have been working hard to find private accommodation for the family. This has been easier to find in Lowestoft, but there are still great difficulties in establishing a tenancy."
Shasha Toptani, spokeswomen for CHAG, said: "We are still searching for accommodation for the family but it is in short supply. The problem is landlords tend to refuse people on housing benefit."
The family are now thought to be staying with friends in Lowestoft.