A mum of five who is facing eviction from her home in St Michael’s Gate has spoken of her fears for what the future will hold.
Nadine Jones (33) is one of a number of people living in the Peterborough street who have been given just a couple of months to leave the home.
Nadine – who has five children aged between two and 14, and is pregnant with her sixth child – moved in to her home on the street in January last year, after needing emergency accommodation due to fears of domestic abuse.
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The estate is used by Peterborough City Council to provide emergency housing is managed Stef &Phillips and has been since 2016. Yet, the council has now decided that that it is not financially viable to renew the lease agreement with the company; which runs out this August.
Like many residents in the street, a letter was delivered on June 27 advising her she would have to move before August 19.
In 2016 all 74 homes on the estate were brought by Paul Simon Magic Homes and were then to be managed by Stef & Phillips – with all residents told they would have to leave, with the homes to be used to provide accommodation for homeless residents.
Now Nadine is worried about where she will be moved to in the future.
She said: “When I got the letter, I just sat and cried.
"I knew this was just temporary accommodation, but for it to come like this. I had spent four and a half years in a two bedroom flat, with five children at the end. Just having somewhere suitable to live was important.
"I now don’t know where we will end up living. I’ve spent the time making phone calls trying to sort something out, but we have to wait for the council now.”
Nadine said residents living on the street she knew had been moved to hostels, hotels – and even moved out of the city to places including Boston and Sheffield.
She said: “We have been told nothing by anyone. No-one is taking responsibility.
"We could be told we have to move out within 24 hours if a place becomes available.
"Most of us on the street are now living out of carboard boxes – we just have the essentials left.
"All my family are in Peterborough, schools are in Peterborough.
"My eldest goes to a special school – he is making good progress there. It would have a big impact if we had to move away.”
A council hub has been set up in a house on St Michael’s Gate to help residents – but Nadine said she was concerned about others living in the street.
She said: “There are people living here who don’t speak English, or don’t understand the process. A few of us have come together to help them, and make sure they have a voice.
"We are all worried about what is going to happen to us, and where we will be.”
A Peterborough City Council spokesperson said: “We will be working to relocate the residents who are housed in temporary accommodation at St Michael’s Gate over the coming weeks. This is because of concerns at the council regarding the financial viability of the site.
“Our housing needs team will visit St Michael’s Gate and speak to residents on a 1-1 basis. We understand how distressing this will be for residents and want to be able to answer questions and listen to concerns face to face. We will work to find them alternative accommodation as soon as possible.”
Steff & Phillips have not commented on the situation.