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Gary Robertson to lose New Forest home of 50 years after his mother Monica's death
HE’S just lost his mother and could be about to lose the only home he has ever known.
Former builder Gary Robertson, 50, who is classed as vulnerable by his GP, has been told to quit the two-bedroom council house he has lived in for half a century.
It follows the death last month of his mother Monica, who was listed as the sole tenant.
Civic chiefs say they are obliged by law to terminate the tenancy. However, friends and neighbours are urging them to delay the process and give the former builder time to grieve.
They have launched an online petition that has already been signed by more than 320 people.
Campaigners include Peter Armstrong, who told the Daily Echo: “I’ve never come across such an uncaring attitude – the heartlessness and insensitivity are unbelieveable.
“When bureaucracy rides roughshod over the grieving process, something is wrong.”
Gary was born at Hythe Hospital and has lived in the semi-detached property nearby since he was five days old. His 78- year-old mother died of cancer on February 28 but Gary has already been told to move out by New Forest District Council and fears he is about to become homeless.
Gary, who has lost several friends as well as both parents, is suffering from depression and is out of work. Fighting back tears, he said he desperately wanted to remain in the house that had been his home since he was born in 1963.
“It’s the only thing I’ve got left,” he said.
But the council has told him to sign a form agreeing to vacate the property within 28 days. If he refuses he is likely to face eviction proceedings.
Gary’s doctor, Hythe GP Chris Cole, has written letters of support in a bid to help him in his battle with the authority. One letter says: “This is clearly having a massive detrimental effect on his emotional wellbeing. He is I think a vulnerable adult and, as such, consideration needs to be given to his welfare.”
Another letter says Gary is finding the threat of homelessness “intolerable” and adds: “I’m extremely concerned about Mr Robertson’s health.”
A council spokesman said Britain’s housing laws prevented Gary from inheriting the tenancy from his late mother.
He added: “We’re aware of Mr Robertson’s circumstances and are doing everything in our power to support him at this difficult time.
“At this stage notice to terminate the tenancy has not been given and eviction proceedings have not been considered. We are conducting a homelessness investigation to establish whether or not the council has a duty to house him as a vulnerable person.
“If the council accepts a duty to house Mr Robertson, we would usually allow him to remain at the property pending re-housing.
“If no such duty is found, we will work with Mr Robertson to agree a termination and vacation date.”
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