11:00AM, Friday 06 May 2016
John Power, of The London and Slough Run, has spoken out against the council’s actions.
A legal challenge against Slough Borough Council involving a multiple sclerosis sufferer who was evicted from his home has been dropped.
The 72-year-old, a former soldier and electrician, who does not wish to be named, was evicted from his council home in Langley by the borough on February 22 last year, having built up rent arrears due to late housing benefit payments.
Having suffered from multiple sclerosis since the age of 31, the man says his condition led him to forget to check his mail and forget about his housing benefit forms.
The man, who has lived in Langley for most of his life, told the Express: “I get so bad with my condition around my flat when I’m on my own; letters and forms are pushed to one side.
“When I was evicted, the council officers drilled my door down.
“I was in the bath and they told me to hurry up and get out and that I could take a case of stuff.
“People from the council visited before but never got an answer from the door, which should have alarmed them.”
After his eviction, the man spent one year in a Slough guesthouse before running out of money and sleeping rough in the car park of the Tesco supermarket in Wellington Street for two weeks.
It was there that police saw him being mugged, an incident which was caught on CCTV cameras.
Following the ordeal the man was referred by police to social services, who then referred him to homeless charity The London and Slough Run.
The charity then paid for him to stay in a Travelodge and various guesthouses between March and April this year after its winter night shelter scheme closed.
The actions of the borough prompted the man to launch a legal challenge against Slough Borough Council, demanding that he be provided with council accommodation as he believed he should not have been evicted in the first place because of his medical condition.
The council referred him to a private landlord, who has given him accommodation in a shared house of 10 people, and the legal challenge has been dropped.
However, John Power, of The London and Slough Run, says the house is unsuitable.
Mr Power said: “He feels intimidated and doesn’t feel safe in his house as there’s lots of coming and going and he has noisy neighbours.”
The council is expected to assess the man’s required living conditions today (Friday).
A council spokesman added: “Our housing team offered this gentleman help, both before and after his eviction.”
In the last year, the Slough Homeless Our Concern charity have served over 25,000 meals, helped 90 people into employment and more than 40 people into housing.
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