Tenant stuck with home suited to a disabled family (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Tenant stuck with home suited to a disabled family
12:00pm Thursday 9th June 2005 in News
A TENANT is shocked that Ascham Homes would not swap his two-bedroom home for a one-bedroom flat.
John Paynton, 49, of Gordon Avenue, Chingford, said: "The council won't move me out of my two-bedroom flat which has been specially converted for disabled people. I can't believe it. It has widened doors, panic buttons and a wall phone. It's too big for me there is only me and my cat."
Mr Paynton cared for his dad, who had Alzheimer's diseases and his mother who was disabled, until they both died 18 years ago. But now he wants to go back to where he was born in Walthamstow.
Mr Paynton said: "I asked Ascham Homes about three months ago. They said I had to get Choice Magazine and bid for a new place, but it's like you are buying a house.
"You have to sit on this phone line forever. I only have a mobile. How can I ring up? It would cost a fortune. I thought Ascham Homes would jump at it. Where I volunteer at the Disability Centre, there are loads of people who need places with adaptations."
A council spokesman said that it needed larger accommodation and it did everything it could do to help tenants who wanted to downsize.
"Tenants are offered the top priority on our choice based lettings scheme, called additional preference.
"This means that when they bid for homes they can move more quickly, freeing up their bigger property for a family which needs the additional space.
"In December 2003 Mr Paynton was given additional preference, and this lasted for one year. During this time, he did not bid for any of the advertised vacancies."
Tenants can bid by text, telephone and the internet. Bids can also be made for free through two kiosks, based at the Friday Hill Tenant Management Organisation office, 56 Friday Hill West, Chingford, and at the One Stop Shop on the corner of Church Lane, Leytonstone.
Mr Paynton said that he hadn't known about the other ways he could bid, but since the Guardian contacted the council, he has received an appointment to see a housing officer about the move.