Ipswich: Carer set to lose home after mother’s death

IPSWICH: A council tenant is today facing “heartache” after being told to leave the only home he has ever known after his mother died.

Nigel Meadows was born and raised at the three-bed semi-detached house in Pimpernel Road, Chantry, where his parents had lived since it was built in 1952.

He stayed on to look after his mum and dad, giving up his job of 22 years at Ferraris Pistons Service in Colchester when his father became ill, and caring for him until he died in March 2008.

The 50-year-old then gave up his agency work when his mother, Peggy, was diagnosed with cancer in December 2010, looking after her until she died last month. But now he has been told he will have to leave his home as the law states a council house can only be passed on once between family members. Because his mother took on the tenancy after her husband died, it cannot be passed on to him.

“I don’t have a job any more, I have just lost my mother and I’m being told to leave the only home I have ever known – things are really bleak at the moment. Three major things have all come at once and it’s really been too much to bear,” he said.

“My mum and dad were the first ones to move into this house in 1952 and they’ve been the only tenants. They must have paid for the house in rent many times over. It’s our family home.

“I was born here and I love this house dearly – we have done a lot of work to it and to the garden. I know legally I have no right to stay here but morally I do.”

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Mr Meadows has lost more than a stone in weight and has been forced to seek medical advice because of the anxiety over losing his home. He said: “The council has been good – it has given me more time to look for another place. Why can’t I stay here instead of going through all that heartache?”

Mr Meadows has until September to find a new home. A borough spokesman said: “We do have great sympathy for Mr Meadows, but there is a huge demand for family accommodation in Ipswich. We have made him a priority case and given him an extra six months to find somewhere more suitable.”