22nd Nov, 2019

Welfare cuts hit hard as Rubery family gets evicted

Anu Shukla 17th Nov, 2016 Updated: 18th Nov, 2016

A RUBERY family hit hard by the benefits cap were made officially homeless when they were evicted by a private landlord.

Claire and Stephen Targgart and their four children moved to Burcot Lodge after bailiffs came to change the locks on Tuesday.

The couple moved from Devon to Rubery to take care of elderly parents in 2013.

Claire said at the time they paid just £80 per month rent but claims the benefits cap in March 2015 raised the rent to £200, and again to £220 by October 2015.

“By July last year, we had difficulty paying the rent so we came to an arrangement with our landlord to pay him £80 per week, which we paid until September until we received a Section 21 notice the following month.

“We gave him the money directly, but now he’s claiming we owe him all these thousands.

“But he’s never given us a rent book either, so there’s no record of us paying him.”

Claire said she feared shared amenities at Burcot Lodge would make their two-week-old daughter prone to infections.

“Her jabs aren’t due for another six weeks, so in the meantime, she’s open to any infection going.

“I’m still hemorrhaging after giving birth, and also at risk of infection, but no one seems to be listening to any of this.”

The couple have four children, including a 13-year old daughter and two sons, aged 18 and 13.

Struggling

Claire said moving to the hostel would disrupt her children’s education, because it means they would have to move to a new school.

“It’s been really hard – we’ve been struggling since July. I’ve been told I’m fit for work but I’ve a slipped disk and still recovering from the birth, meanwhile, Stephen’s finding it really hard to get a job.”

Stephen said he hoped bdht officers, who have been helping the family, would be able to find the family more permanent accommodation.

“We can only try to be positive now and wish for the best to come out of this terrible situation.”

BDHT director of communities Marie Henry said: “We manage homelessness on behalf of Bromsgrove District Council.

“It is recognised nationally that homelessness is increasing, and Bromsgrove is no different.

“The pressure on housing is acute, and this is being increased by welfare reforms.

“However, it is not appropriate for us to comment on individual cases.”

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