Couple threatened with deportation have “nowhere to live” with 3 cats, a turtle and 40 fish
Simon, 37, and Joanne Graham, 38, live with their wide range of pets in an apartment in Southgate Street, Gloucester, but say Gloucester City Council will not help them find suitable accommodation for their animals.
Image: Samuel Port)
A compensated couple who face deportation within five days say they have nowhere to go with their three cats, a turtle and 40 fish.
Simon, 37, and Joanne Graham, 38, live with their vast array of pets in an apartment in Southgate Street, Gloucester.
They say Gloucester City Council will not help them find suitable accommodation to live with their pets until they are homeless.
The apartment is in the process of being converted for other purposes, so they received a notice of leave at the start of the year by the owner, reports Gloucestershire Live.
Since then, the married couple, who enjoy universal credit, have sought to organize new housing with the town hall to house their large multi-species families, but to no avail.
Former chef Simon, father of a child, suffered a brain injury in a car accident years ago, which enabled him to receive an employment support allowance.
Simon said the housing situation had added “stress” to her marriage and believed the council had acted “appallingly”.
The 37-year-old added that temporary housing had been offered for him and Joanne, but nothing for their animals.
They say housing their three cats alone in a cattery would cost Â£ 150 a week, which they cannot afford.
They have, however, found someone who can temporarily take their fish.
Simon went on to say, âMy wife and I both suffer from mental health issues as well as physical issues with myself.
âWe have until July 31st to be able to be accommodated by Gloucester City Council who say they want us on the sidewalk across the street with all of our possessions and family heirlooms, plus a 6ft aquarium, turtle and three cats.
“They know very well that we have the Universal Credit with me on the disability sector as well as the PIP (Personal Independence Payment). Yet they always want us in the street before doing anything.
“They are also saying that we will have to find the money out of our pocket for storage and temporary homes for animals that we cannot afford under any circumstances.”
A spokesperson for Gloucester City Council said: âWe recognize that being threatened with homelessness is distressing and seek to work with households to avoid this where possible.
âWhile we cannot comment on individual cases when someone approaches us about becoming homeless, we work hard to support them and understand their individual circumstances and the issues they may be facing.
âWe also offer financial assistance to those who have the right to access alternative housing, as well as tailor-made advice and support.
âWe urge anyone concerned about being evicted to contact Gloucester City Council’s Homeless Team on 01452 396396 or by email at [email protected] ”