HOUSING & COMMUNITY CARE WORKSHOP Kelvin Rutledge & Jon Holbrook. HOUSING EXERCISE Kelvin Rutledge.
Khadra is a Sudanese national. In 2002 she travelled, with her two children, then aged 7 and 4, from her homeland to Barcelona where she met Alonso, a Spanish national, whom she married in 2003. A year later the four of them travelled to the UK in order that Alonso could take up employment for First Great Western Railways and also to be closer to Alonso’s step-mother, Maria, who already lived in the UK. Khadra and Alonso moved into rented accommodation in the Borough of Knackford, close to both Maria’s home and Alonso’s place of work. The tenancy was an assured shorthold in Alonso’s sole name. The two children attended local schools. In 2005 Khadra had a child by Alonso.
In January 2006 Alonso lost his job. As a result of mounting financial pressures, his marriage to Khadra broke up and he left Knackford altogether. He looked for alternative employment in the UK and then gave up the search. A few weeks later, and short of money, he returned to Spain. Khadra found it difficult to cope with the three children without Alonso’s support and she became depressed. By agreement, all three children went to live with Maria on the basis that Khadra would have them two full days a week. They agreed to revise this arrangement if and when Khadra’s situation improved. The elder children remain at the same schools.
The shorthold tenancy ended and the landlord decided not to renew because of rent arrears. Maria had given Khadra the money to pay rent but she had spent it on food, clothing and entertainments for the children. She had no income of her own and had been refused State benefits. When the court made a possession order, but before it was enforced, Khadra applied for accommodation to Waynesfield Borough Council, the neighbouring borough to Knackford, because she had a friend living there who had “supported her emotionally throughout a difficult period in her life”. Khadra included all three children on her housing application in view of her arrangement with Maria.
Maria, who has sufficient accommodation for the whole family, says that Khadra can go to live with her, but Khadra wishes to maintain her independence.
What issues arise for Waynesfield BC in this case?
Advice & assistance
Homeless / threat?
Homeless / threat?
Advice & Assistance?