Blind man faces eviction from Creeton cottage owned by the Grimsthorpe Estate
A disabled man has issued a plea to stay in his home of 18 years after receiving an eviction notice from his landlord.
Seventy-year-old Bill is being evicted from the cottage he rents from Grimsthorpe Estate in Creeton near Little Bytham.
Bill, who is registered blind, has had ill health for the past five years and suffered multiple strokes, bleeds on the brain and heart attacks.
His most recent stroke occurred on November 14, the day he received the eviction notice. It resulted in a five-week hospital stay, where he contracted covid and suffered heart arrhythmia.
“I was stunned, I couldn’t take it all,” he said.
Bill, a former grill chef, says after initially receiving the eviction notice he contacted Grimsthorpe Estate to question what was going on and was told they would come to an arrangement.
But while in hospital Bill discovered he was being taken to court, and was ordered leave by the end of February.
“It has been my home for a long time,” he said.
“I’m supposed to get out of here but I have nobody.”
He is urging Grimsthorpe Estate to reconsider the eviction and threatens he will stay in the property until bailiffs remove him.
Bill has lived in the property for 18 years, initially with his aunt, and has had the lease in his name for five years.
He is partially paralysed on one side due to the strokes he suffered, and relies on carers to look after him.
With no friends or family, Bill does not know how he is going to afford the move or be able to pack up his house.
Bill said: “I can’t even get into my wheelchair on my own so how am I supposed to pack up a three-bedroom house?”
He added: “Everything is going wrong.
“I can’t get anyone to help me, and anyone I do get wants paying.”
Bill says he has tried to contact South Kesteven District Council but is unable to get a housing reference number as he cannot prove his identity because he does not have a passport or driving licence.
He also fears he could be put in a care home or warden-controlled housing.
“If they put me in there I will die,” Bill said.
“I want to be in the countryside, I couldn’t be living in a town.
“I have lived here for 20-odd years so I don't want to leave this type of environment.”
Grimsthorpe Estate is selling a few of its residential properties, including the cottage in Creeton, with proceeds going towards new, energy efficient housing on the estate.
A spokesperson for Grimsthorpe Estate said: “Over the past three years the estate has endeavoured to work with the estate tenant to give them time to find alternative accommodation.
“Regrettably this has not been achieved and the courts have served an Order for Possession.
“The estate has been in contact with the local housing authority to help facilitate alternative accommodation and will provide support during this process.”
Coun Phil Dilks, cabinet member for housing and planning, said South Kesteven District Council is in discussions with the resident to discuss how it can help.
He said: “When a household is threatened with homelessness, our team seeks to assist with exploring all possible options to help that household remain in the existing accommodation, or if this is not possible, seek alternative suitable accommodation.”
He added: “Sourcing alternative accommodation takes time, which is why we would often negotiate with landlords to allow households to remain in the property for as long as possible while we work to seek a move on.”