Dying cancer victim faces eviction from Birmingham home in bedroom tax row

veronica-kenning-5167279

The first evictions over the government’s controversial “bedroom tax” are set to begin as notices and final demand letters are being put through the letter boxes of social housing tenants around the country.Including that of Veronica Kenning a 57-year-old cancer sufferer :

A wheelchair-bound mum dying of cancer is facing eviction from her council house in a bedroom tax row .

Veronica Kenning could lose the only home she has ever known after refusing to pay the £23.57-a-week demanded by Birmingham City Council .

The 57-year-old said she would fight her case in court – but admitted any hearing would have to be quick as she was given a year to live last August.

Veronica, who has also suffered from ME for 26 years, said: “I told the council I was never going to pay because I’m dying.

“They shouldn’t be asking for it. It’s disgraceful.

“I told them they could take me to court – but they would have to be quick.”

Veronica was told in February that she faced paying out under the bedroom tax after her daughter moved out of their three-bedroom home in Brook Meadow Road, Shard End.

The controversial benefits shake-up, which cuts payouts for those with spare rooms, came into force on April 1.

It was blamed for causing the death of Solihull grandmother Stephanie Bottrill, who was hit by a lorry on the M6 on May 4.

Veronica, who has cancer of the oesophagus, has already received a letter warning the council intended to seek possession of the home where she has spent her entire life.

The document told her: “Your rent debt is now at an unacceptable level and we are serving you with a notice of seeking possession. This is a legal notice and should not be ignored.”

Veronica admitted she had rebuffed the council’s attempts to encourage her to apply for cash to help her pay her way.

She said: “I haven’t got enough time left to waste it filling out forms.

“I might not even qualify. I’m making a stand.”

A spokesman for Birmingham City Council said: “We have been in regular contact with Mrs Kenning, urging her to apply for discretionary housing payment, which we feel, in her circumstances, she would qualify for.

“Indeed, we have told her we will take a telephone application to make things easier for her.

“Unfortunately she has refused on every occasion to make a claim.

“We are deeply sympathetic to Mrs Kenning’s plight and have written, phoned and visited her property in order to try to help her get the assistance available to her.

“However, her consistent refusal to allow us to help her has left us with little option as she has made it clear to us that she does not want to apply for discretionary housing payment.”

 

I would just like to salute Veronica for being such a brave inspiration to us all. Knowing she is dying she is using her own situation to highlight the evil and targeted discrimination against disabled people by this government.  Most people would have applied for the grant then shut up, do what they were told and used what little time they have left to try to come to terms with themselves and find peace and a  bit of happiness. Instead Ms Kenning  is setting an example and hopefully that example will be used to shine a light on the plight of many thousands of people being affected by these unfair rules.

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