Mrs B lived with her husband and three children in a four bedroomed home in Cambridgeshire. Her two older children left home, leading to a reduction in housing benefit due to under-occupation, and she was getting further and further into rent arrears. Her Housing Officer was having to take eviction action because of the arrears, but wanted to get the family some help, so referred her to the local authority for tenancy support.
Unfortunately, Mrs B then suffered life-threatening injuries and spent some time in hospital. Her husband was unable to cope, and left, taking their youngest child, leaving the home in disrepair, with damage to doors, flooring, loose wiring and damaged smoke alarms. The property was now unsuitable to return to and Mrs B would fall further into arrears due to further under-occupation. Between them, CHS’s Housing Officer and the Tenancy Support Officer arranged for alternative accommodation; Mrs B gave up her CHS tenancy and we agreed to take no action over the arrears/damage to the property.
The Tenancy Support Officer at the local district council wrote to us:
‘Thank you for letting me know, I feel quite sad about this case. Thank you for not taking things further and being sensitive and making decisions on a case by case basis. I have noticed this more with CHS compared to other housing associations. It’s a real credit to the organisation’s ethical ethos.’