'˜We don't want to let our daughter down' says Peterborough mother facing eviction from St Michael's Gate
A mother facing eviction from St Michael's Gate in Parnwell says she doesn't want to let her five-month-old daughter down as she looks for a new home.
Caroline Worth (23) and partner Joshua Edwards (21) have been served a notice to leave their home by the end of October but have so far been unable to find somewhere else to live.
The couple are just the latest people to contact the Peterborough Telegraph which first revealed that 74 tenants are being evicted from their homes on the estate by a private firm.
The firm then did a deal with Peterborough City Council for it to use the empty properties as temporary accommodation.
Caroline and Joshua, who live with daughter Phoebe, are now turning to the council for help.
Caroline said: “They sent us a letter which said it was a notice of possession, but it did not say eviction or anything like that.
“We tried to get hold of them but could not, then we heard in the news we were being evicted. We thought they just wanted it for the day.
“We’ve not really got a back-up plan. We have to put a house over our daughter’s head - she’s five months old and we do not want to let her down already.
“It’s a bit of a nightmare. I do not really understand the reason why they are evicting people to house the homeless.
“I’ve been really ill from the stress. I’ve been fighting not to let this get to me, but I was in hospital over the weekend with breathing problems and anxiety.
“They said it’s due to stress and I know where that stress is coming from.
“The couple above had to move with a baby who was two-three weeks old.”
Joshua undergoes 11 hour shifts as a chef at PJ Care in Bretton, and Caroline is a sales manager at Comac in Woodston, but the couple cannot yet afford a deposit to buy a house.
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 has repeatedly insisted 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 to use them.
This would then exacerbate the current homelessness crisis in Peterborough.
The PT has previously reported that the council 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.