London council wants to move social tenant to Walsall

Jason Paul Jason Paul says moving to Walsall would mean he could not see his other children

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Newham Council has written to housing associations around the country - including one in Stoke - to try to find accommodation for families on its waiting list.

Jason Paul, a 38-year-old unemployed single parent, tells BBC News his local council in London want to move him to Walsall in the West Midlands.

Mr Paul has lived in the London Borough of Waltham Forest for the past 15 years and was at a loss on being asked to move 138 miles away.

"I am under Waltham Forest Council and they have told me if I don't move to Walsall they will put me and my daughter on the streets.

Start Quote

If the council has its way I will be relocated to Walsall by next week”

End Quote Jason Paul

"I have lived in London all my life - how can they do this to people," Mr Paul said.

A council spokesman said housing people outside the borough was "often not ideal" but "lack of suitable accommodation" was the reason behind such a move.

He has been living with his 14-year-old daughter in a temporary accommodation in Ilford, Essex, since September 2011.

"Ilford is quite near to Waltham Forest, but sending me to Walsall will deny me the right to live in a place where I have lived much of my life," he said.

Before being rehoused, Mr Paul lived with his parents in Waltham Forest and had to move to temporary accommodation to look after his ill daughter.

'Another appointment'

"On Monday I received a letter from Waltham Forest Council saying I must view a property in Walsall on 24 April. If I don't go I will have to leave the accommodation I am in now," he said.

The council's housing office agreed to provide the transport cost of going to Walsall.

"I had another appointment on 24 April so now I am supposed to view the property in Walsall on Thursday.

"If the council has its way, I will be relocated to Walsall by next week," he added.

"I don't understand why the council is doing this to me. I haven't had an explanation from them."

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Sadly, there are no suitable properties in Waltham Forest for Paul or 21,000 other people currently on our housing waiting list”

End Quote Waltham Forest Council

Mr Paul has two sons who are in the custody of his estranged wife and live in Leytonstone, east London.

"If I am relocated to Walsall, I will be denied the right of seeing my sons regularly. My daughter also can't see her brothers," Mr Paul said.

"I have a good rapport with the council. I get on well with my neighbours and I haven't been in any trouble."

'Supply network'

Waltham Forest Council has more than 21,000 people on their housing waiting list, a spokesman said.

"Sadly, there are no suitable properties in Waltham Forest for Mr Paul or 21,000 other people currently on our housing waiting list," he added.

"The council houses people in 14 units in Luton, five units in Margate and recently acquired further units in Walsall.

"None are arrangements with housing associations."

The council was also looking to expand its "supply network" and was working with the neighbouring boroughs to "procure more accommodation in and around Waltham Forest".

Having accepted their duty as a local authority to find accommodation for Jason paul as homeless, the council has scheduled a visit for him to view a property in Walsall on Thursday 26 April, the spokesman said.

"If a property is allocated to him, Mr Paul will be entitled to initiate an independent review should he feel the accommodation is inappropriate."

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