A mother-of-four already grappling with grief after her partner passed is now facing homelessness before Christmas.
Sarah Ryan, 36, is set to be evicted from the home she lived in with her partner of 17 years in Tameside, Manchester.
Ms Ryan and her four children aged between four and 13 will have no roof over their heads only weeks before the holidays as their home’s co-owner handed them an eviction notice.
Council officials, she said, told her that because of the spiralling waiting list they’ll be placed into a hotel without cooking facilities if they can’t find a place.
Ms Ryan told Manchester Evening News: ‘I’ve got Christmas coming up and three of my children’s birthdays are in December.
‘There are days at the moment where I can’t even get out of bed because my mental health is so bad.
‘I’ve not even had a chance to grieve for my partner because I’m so concerned about my children. It’s likely we’ll be staying in an emergency hotel this Christmas.’
Michael Grey, Ms Ryan’s late partner, was diagnosed with retroperitoneal sarcoma, a rare type of cancer also known as soft tissue sarcoma, last year.
She said: ‘He started having hip pain in July last year but when he went to the doctors they did blood tests but they were normal.
‘They thought it might be IBS so gave him a CT scan which revealed he had a tumour that was 16.5cm in length. It had already killed one of his kidneys and doctors were unable to operate.
‘After his second round of chemotherapy they did another scan and it showed that the tumour had doubled and he had months to live. I was looking after four kids whilst being his carer.’
Mr Grey co-owned the family home in Droylsden only for the other property owner to evict them after Mr Grey’s death on August 23 this year.
Losing a fight in the Manchester Civil Justice Centre on November 21, Ms Ryan was given just 28 days to vacate their home.
‘We are homeless,’ she said. ‘The stress of it all is making me ill. My mental health is deteriorating and my son has learning difficulties so he’s really struggling.’
Ms Ryan has few options. Her mother only has a spare room for the five of them, and losing half the family income means saving for a deposit is a tall order.
The borough council has little help to offer Ms Ryan either, with waiting lists for council housing stretching for months.
Her only option if she doesn’t find a home, the council told her, is a potential two-year stay at a hotel with nowhere for the family to cook meals.
A spokesperson for Tameside Council said: ‘The Council works hard to prevent homelessness and the earlier we are informed of issues the more we can do to help.’
They said the council is using all the tools in its belt to support the family, such as offering to talk things out with their landlord or securing alternative private rented accommodation.
‘Where the council is not able to help using these tools, then the applicant has a statutory right to make a homeless application,’ the spokesperson added.
‘In some circumstances, the council does use B&B accommodation though there would always be a suitability assessment to ensure it is suitable for the applicant and their family.
‘At the moment in Tameside, B&B use is minimal and applicants are either being offered self-contained Temporary Accommodation at the point of application or where B&B is used, the stay is below four weeks.’
Eviction rates are reaching terrifying highs in the UK as the cost-of-living crisis bites people’s budgets.
According to charity Shelter, at least 3,405 privately renting households were booted out by bailiffs in England between April and June this year – a startling 39% rise.
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