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Man ordered out of his childhood home after 58 years
AMAN is being forced out of the home where he grew up and has lived for 59 years.
Albert Birnie, 61, has been ordered out of his council house in Pound Lane, Basildon, after the deaths of his parents, who were the original tenants.
The three-bedroom house was originally in his father’s name. The tenancy passed to his mother when Mr Birnie senior died in 1985.
The law says a council tenancy cannot be passed on more than once within a family, leading officials to order Mr Birnie out, following his mother’s death last December.
With family homes in great demand, the council has told Mr Birnie he must move.
The former Selex worker, who has lived in the house since he was two, says he plans to appeal against the council’s notice to quit.
He explained: “I’ve been here since 1954, but the council has written to say I no longer meet the criteria.
“It was a massive shock. I’ve lived here all my life. My neighbours are my friends.
“The most upsetting thing was when I received a letter on September 30, telling me I had to leave by October 1. It’s been such a bombshell.
“If I leave the house, I will have to get rid of all my parents’ furniture and turn my back on my childhood memories.”
Tory deputy council leader Phil Turner, councillor responsible for housing, said: “Under the Housing Act, a family member can only pass on a council property once.
“In this instance, that has happened and that entitlement has been spent.
“We understand it’s difficult for some tenants to leave a property they have lived in for many years.
“However, we have a duty to ensure large, family properties are available for families and we have more than 5,000 local people waiting on the housing register.
“We don’t even have a statutory duty to offer alternative accommodation, but the council is not insensitive, so in these circumstances, we have agreed to re-house the tenant in a smaller property, more suitable for his housing need, and in an area of his choice.”
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