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Tenant could be kicked out of her home - despite investing more than £6,000 on improvements

PUBLISHED: 05:45 12 October 2018 | UPDATED: 08:36 12 October 2018

April Sinclair (left) and her daughter Katie who both could be forced out their homes. Picture: WILL JEFFORD

April Sinclair (left) and her daughter Katie who both could be forced out their homes. Picture: WILL JEFFORD

Archant

An Ipswich social housing tenant has been told she could be kicked out of her home as part of a vision to do away with lower value properties - despite spending over £6,000 of her own money to renovate it.

The bedroom in April's Bungalow - Before and After  Picture: CONTRIBUTEDThe bedroom in April's Bungalow - Before and After Picture: CONTRIBUTED

April Sinclair lives in a bungalow supplied by Suffolk Housing in St Clements Church Lane, Ipswich and since moving in two years ago has spent thousands redecorating her property and developing both a front and back garden.

But earlier this week she was told by the landlord that there was a chance that she could be forced to move out of her house as part of Suffolk Housing’s Corporate Plan 2017 to get rid of 37 of their lowest value properties by the end of 2019.

Adrian Barber, chief executive of Suffolk Housing, said: “As a non-profit making housing association, we are funded largely by the rent our residents pay and therefore have a duty to make the best possible use of our resources and to provide value for money on their behalf.”

But Miss Sinclair said: “Suffolk Housing told us we probably had to move the other day.

The living room in April's Bungalow - Before and After  Picture: CONTRIBUTEDThe living room in April's Bungalow - Before and After Picture: CONTRIBUTED

“The thing that really upsets me is that they have watched me spend all of this money on the property while they were aware this was a plan.

“I have spent thousands of my disability money to make the place nicer and they were aware that I was doing it up.”

The company has also suggested that Miss Sinclair could move into a new property with her adopted daughter Katie, who currently lives next door.

The pair described the suggestion as “ridiculous”.

The kitchen in April's Bungalow - Before and After  Picture: CONTRIBUTEDThe kitchen in April's Bungalow - Before and After Picture: CONTRIBUTED

“They don’t know anything at the moment,” Miss Sinclair said.

“They said in four weeks they are going to try and sell it to another housing association or privately and if they can’t do that they are going to try and sell it on the open market.

“If they do that we need to leave before they do it.”

“I lost my partner four years ago and now I have become ill myself, I was in a pretty bad way but I feel safe now where I am. “I had really had to fight to get this bungalow.”

Mr Barber added: “It is not yet certain that the residents will have to move. As well as writing to them, we meet face-to-face so that we can understand more about their current circumstances and housing preferences, and will also help them make arrangements to view alternative properties where necessary, as well as meeting their removal costs.

“Discussions regarding St Clements Church Lane at are a very early stage. We will keep all of the affected tenants fully informed as they progress, but would encourage anyone with concerns in the meantime to contact us directly to talk them through in more detail.”

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David Vincent

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EADT writer David Vincent has more than 40 years experience in Suffolk. He has explored the highways and byeways of East Anglia, meeting homeowners, developers and estate agents from Bury St Edmunds to Aldeburgh and Colchester to Diss.

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