Couple say housing battle is affecting health

First published in News

A SEVERLY disabled couple in Evesham who say their home is not big enough for them have demanded they be re-housed.

Stephen and Jacqueline Merry, of the Hodges, in Evesham town centre, both suffer with a variety of disabilities and live in an adapted two bedroom Rooftop Housing Group flat.

The couple claim Mr Merry's ability to walk has deteriorated and he now requires a walking frame to move about - something he is unable to do due to the size of his home.

But Rooftop Housing Group say it is satisfied the couple are adequately housed and that they receive support from a housing officer.

Mr Merry, aged 59, who suffers from a range of disabilities including epilepsy, a serious speech inpediment and being unable to read or write, said: "I can't walk without falling over all the time.

"I am using a walker. My wife is holding me up when I am walking. But she can't walk very far either.

"I can't get in and out of the bedroom. My situation has deteriorated so I can't walk."

The couple have lived in the flat for eight years and before that were also housed with Rooftop.

Mr Merry added: "The flat and bedroom aren't big enough with my walker, the bedroom doorway isn't big enough.

"I have asked them all the time. It's affected my health very badly. I told them my health is getting worse."

Despite their claims a spokesperson for Rooftop Housing Group said: "We have an ongoing challenge to meet local housing need and the demand for properties always exceeds the number we have available at any particular time. In Mr and Mrs Merry’s case, we are satisfied they are adequately housed as they live in a two-bedroom ground floor flat.

"Furthermore, the property has also had a number of adaptations fitted, including a ramp and a level access shower.

"Each week, the couple’s housing officer looks at the available properties on Home Choice Plus on their behalf and has helped them bid on available properties. We have also suggested that the Merry’s consider a mutual exchange."

Comments (2)

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5:03am Fri 6 Jun 14

Rita Jelfs says...

If the number of houses needed exceeds supply, then surely it would be easier for the couple, and cheaper for Rooftop Housing, to widen doorways, to fit a walking frame/wheelchair? That is if they're listening. Aren't these type of modifications required for under disability legislation?
If the number of houses needed exceeds supply, then surely it would be easier for the couple, and cheaper for Rooftop Housing, to widen doorways, to fit a walking frame/wheelchair? That is if they're listening. Aren't these type of modifications required for under disability legislation? Rita Jelfs
  • Score: 0

1:58pm Sat 7 Jun 14

Rita Jelfs says...

Surely it would be cheaper and less hassle to the couple if the housing group arranged to have the doorways in their flat widened? That is if the Housing Group are listening?
Surely it would be cheaper and less hassle to the couple if the housing group arranged to have the doorways in their flat widened? That is if the Housing Group are listening? Rita Jelfs
  • Score: 0

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