'˜We do not have the funds to move' - Peterborough resident speaks out against eviction from St Michael's Gate
One of the residents being evicted from St Michael's Gate in Parnwell says he does not have the funds to find a new home.
Tony Roberts (48), who lives with wife Yvonne, has been told he has to leave his home by November 17 but says he has a contract until April.
It follows, as the Peterborough Telegraph exclusively revealed, a deal made by Peterborough City Council with a property firm which is evicting all 74 tenants on the site, many of whom have young children.
The council will use the vacated properties as temporary accommodation as it seeks a solution for the large growth in homelessness in the city.
The PT has previously reported that the authority is expecting an overspend of at least £1.2 million this financial year after being forced to put up homeless families in a Travelodge due to a shortage of available hostels and B&B accommodation.
Tony, who like many of his neighbours works at the nearby Tesco Distribution Centre, said: “We do not have the funds to move. Some families have moved out already and one lady paid a company £300 to find a house.
“Being homeless is always the worry. We go to the council and what are they going to do? They have all the people in the Travelodge.
“The council has passed the buck. Someone has got to speak up for the people.”
The firm carrying out the evictions is Paul Simon Magic Homes, with the properties managed by Stef and Philips.
Peterborough City Council has agreed a three-year lease with Stef and Philips, with a break clause at the end of the second year, for St Michael’s Gate to be used as temporary accommodation for homeless families at a cost of £966,337 per year.
A redevelopment of the estate will see the number of properties available to the council increase from 74 to 98.
Paul Simon Magic Homes and Stef and Philips both have the same director according to Companies House.
The council’s decision has been called-in by Liberal Democrat councillors - the call-in will be held on Wednesday, October 19.
Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson is also holding a public meeting to discuss the evictions on Friday, October 14 at the Parnwell Community Centre in Saltersgate.
The meeting starts at 6.30pm.
Moreover, a petition against the evictions has now received more than 1,000 signatures.
The council insists that the families will be evicted regardless of it doing this deal, and that if it did not rent the properties as temporary accommodation then another authority would step in.
Paul Simon Magic Homes has previously refused to comment.