Bury St Edmunds: Housing saga comes to an end for great-great-grandmother Pearl Adams
10:00 07 April 2014
A feisty great-great grandmother threatened with homelessness has said she is “really grateful” after she and her husband were given their new home.
Pearl Adams and husband Brian have been placed in a one-bedroom flat on the Howard Estate in Bury St edmunds, bringing an end to a four-month ordeal for the 75-year-old that began in December when her landlord announced he was emigrating and selling their home on the Priors Estate.
Mrs Adams has been embroiled in a row with St Edmundsbury Borough Council ever since as she fought to stay close to her family on the Priors Estate, and was even escorted from the council’s offices by police after staging a sit-in protest.
However, Mr and Mrs Adams picked up the keys to a one-bedroom flat on the Howard Estate last week, and have started preparing their new home before they leave their current one on April 22.
“The close is lovely and I’m really grateful to have somewhere to live,” Mrs Adams said.
“This is where I want to be, but there’s nowhere up here that was going. When you read the stuff they send you, about a duty of care, you get worried.
“If they hang on any longer, they’ll put me in bed and breakfast, or put us in temporary accommodation - that could be anywhere. I thought I’ve got to take it.”
Mrs Adams, who has lived in Bury all her life, battled to get a two-bedroom flat for her and Mr Adams due to their respective illnesses, and had her claim supported by a letter from her GP.
However, an independent doctor ruled that a one-bedroom place would be sufficient.
She also rejected offers of sheltered accommodation as that would mean giving up her cat Misty and dog Annie.
Mr and Mrs Adams were given two months notice in December by their landlord Richard Palmer, and have been sitting tenants at the house since February.
The couple had owned the house, and sold it to Mr Palmer eight years ago. Mrs Adams described Mr Palmer as a “good landlord” given he had kept their rent at £460-a-month ever since they moved in.
Mrs Adams, who worked in a hostel for people with learning disabilities, and former Sugar Beet Factory worker Mr Adams do not claim any benefits, and pay their rent through a combination of their pensions and savings.
Mrs Adams - who has six children, 19 grandchildren, 41 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild - said being told she had to move out was “a shock”, but added: “That was in our contract - what can we do? We looked at private renting, but you’re talking £600 or £700 a month.
“It is a wrench, moving away from most of my family. I’ve lived up here all my life, I was born up here. It seems a bit harsh to me.”