Retired Felixstowe nurse fears eviction after struggle to find social housing


Elizabeth Ablett has been looking for somewhere to live in Felixstowe since August - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

A Felixstowe woman fears she might end up 'sitting outside Tesco' with her dog after not being able to find social housing to suit her needs.

In August 2021, Elizabeth Ablett was given four months notice to leave the property she is currently living in, so she quickly signed up to Gateway to Homechoice in order to find some social housing.


Elizabeth Ablett wants to find a place where she and her dog can live that is close to her family and friends - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

However the December deadline came and went, and now she is still in search of a property, though she believes part of her problem may be due to the slow process of joining the housing register.

Mrs Ablett said: "I immediately rang the housing people and gave them all my details. Only for a couple of months later for them to say that they hadn't finished the application."

The retired nurse is adamant she wants to stay in Felixstowe, though she has a dog and requires a ground floor bedroom which limits the number of available properties.

"I don't think it's fair at all. I'm disabled, my stress levels are going through the roof," the 72-year-old continued. "I can see myself and my dog sitting outside Tesco's.

"The date has passed, I should be out officially. It's up to the landlady what she does from here on.

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"I'm living on a knife edge."


Mrs Ablett has lived in Felixstowe for more than 40 years and is very keen to stay in the town - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Mrs Ablett added: "If I had to move anywhere else, I would be most unhappy. I would be leaving my friends, my family and everything that is dear to me."

Gateway to Homechoice is a choice-based lettings scheme where available social properties are advertised on a weekly basis.

An East Suffolk Council spokesperson said: “East Suffolk Council’s Housing Needs Team has been working with Mrs Ablett since she made initial contact following service of a possession notice which expired after the statutory four-month period on December 6.

“We will continue to work with Ms Ablett to relieve her housing situation and offer support going forward, and we will continue to do all we can to ensure she finds a suitable property in the very near future.

“We fully understand Ms Ablett’s desire to remain in the local area, but would highlight that her banding and housing need has been assessed as requiring ground floor accommodation, and that expanding her area of choice when bidding will help to allow an offer to made as soon as possible.”