Disabled Honiton woman left without a home after banding downgrade

PUBLISHED: 11:30 16 November 2015 | UPDATED: 10:00 17 November 2015

Claire King with her dogs, Happy, Princess and Bella. Ref mhh 3943-45-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Claire King with her dogs, Happy, Princess and Bella. Ref mhh 3943-45-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

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Claire King, who has severe breathing difficulties, a blood disorder in her legs and is visually impaired, claims she has been unfairly classified as ‘voluntarily homeless’ because she can’t find a property for her and her dogs.

A Honiton woman with multiple disabilities claims she has been unfairly classified as ‘voluntarily homeless’ because she can’t find a property for her and her dogs.

Claire King, who has severe breathing difficulties, a blood disorder in her legs and is visually impaired, last lived in Seaton – but says she had to leave her flat after just three days after receiving abuse for moving in with her five dogs.

Mrs King says she feels ‘victimised’ after East Devon District Council (EDDC) then downgraded her on the housing need scale.

She now fears she has to wait for several years until she can find another suitable property.

EDDC says it is waiting to receive any supporting information from Mrs King before her banding will be re-evaluated.

Band B, which Mrs King was on, is for people who have ‘high housing need’. She says she is now on Band E, which is ‘no housing’ need.

Speaking to the Herald, Mrs King said: “I have got no money coming in and I am now short of £100 a week because I have lost my disability benefit. I have had to move back home with my mum, so do not get housing benefit either. I am also paying £120 a month for storing my possessions. No landlords or letting agents will accept me because of my dogs. I believe I am being victimised – I need a home.

“Because I do not work, I fail credit checks. But I don’t work because I’m disabled!”

Mrs King says that three of her five Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are ‘working dogs’, and the other two are in training.

She added that she needs her dogs to allow her to continue going about her day to day life.

And with her health progressively getting worse, the 40-year-old says she is running out of time to find a property.

“Nobody will give me a chance to independently live,” she added. “I feel that EDDC is really letting me down because I would have quite happily waited for a property.”

An EDDC spokesman said: “Mrs King recently moved into a private let and then left after three days, having arrived at an agreement with the landlord to end the tenancy early, due to issues over her dogs.

“She chose to leave this private accommodation in order to move in with her mother where she currently resides.

“Because of the change in her circumstances, the banding of her Devon Home Choice application was affected. Devon Home Choice banding depends on the specific circumstances of the property an applicant currently resides in.

“Mrs King has been advised to send in some supporting information regarding her current accommodation, which has yet to be received.

“When any supporting information is received then her banding will be re-evaluated.”


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