A family of eight face being made homeless as their three-bedroom home is set to be bulldozed due to regeneration plans in Birmingham.
Michelle Love Bicknell (35), and Matthew Love Bicknell (36) have made a desperate appeal for help to their local council to find a new home for their six children, ages eight to 15.
After their landlord forced them to sell, the family was served with an eviction order.
But the family claim that they are not allowed to start bidding on properties until 56 days before their notice runs out – which is just before Christmas on December 12 , reports Birmingham Live.
Mum Michelle is currently out of work due to a health condition and despite her husband’s income from his work supplying parts to Jaguar Land Rover, the pair said they can’t afford to continue renting privately.
“Do you know expensive it is to private rent now?” Michelle said. “A four-bed house to private rent is between £1,200 and £1,500.
“If the council is tearing down these houses, we should have the right to own a house. Everybody else is, and I don’t get why we aren’t.
Husband Matthew has since hit out at Solihull Council for leaving him to fend for his six children and partner Michelle who is disabled.
“We’re not getting the help we need,” He said.
“From day one they promised that even if you were a private rented tenant we would help you.
“They are now denying everything they had promised private tenants. It is unfair. We were expected to be treated in the same way as council tenants.
“They want us to move out and just go. What do I do with six kids and a disabled wife?
“The council are taking us out of our house where we have been for five and a half years so the council should house us.”
The long-awaited regeneration of Kingshurst will see millions invested to develop the town centre.
The work looks set to get underway in December but the project has been delayed over the years. The target date for completing the new village centre remains winter 2025/26.
A spokesperson for Solihull Community Housing, which runs housing services for Solihull Council, said the regeneration programme would create “modern new homes, shops and a space for families to enjoy”.
But they admitted that as a result, a “very small number” of families stand to lose their homes. The spokesperson added the availability of four and five-bed properties in the borough was “extremely limited”.
Michelle and Matthew are the last remaining residents of the Solihull row of houses. The rest have been surrounded by up. According to them, bored youths have been setting fires in the street while others moved out.
“My whole road has been boarded up,” She added. “I’ve got six kids here with me and my partner. The council are just not telling us anything to be honest.
“We are the last to have signs outside. They were broken into and set on fire by children.
A spokesperson for Solihull Community Housing said: “The Kingshurst Regeneration programme is an exciting new phase in the area’s history, creating modern new homes, shops and a space for families to enjoy.
“As a result of the development, a very small number of families currently in private rented accommodation do sadly stand to lose their homes.
“We understand that moving home can be a difficult time, and as such we have dedicated officers to work with affected families. Officers will discuss a range of housing options on a case by case basis to help families find suitable alternative accommodation.
“The challenge is greater with larger-sized families as the availability of four or five-bed properties is extremely limited. We are though working closely with those affected to support them in finding alternative accommodation that will meet their needs.
“We have made those families in private rented accommodation aware that they are eligible for up to £2,000 support with rent in advance and deposit if they move to another private rented property.”
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