A DAUGHTER who moved in to care for her dying mother was told by a council officer she was “shutting her eyes to the obvious” when she was made homeless.
Janelle Chapman, 23, moved from her council home in Coggeshall Road, Braintree, to care for her mum Carolyn last June after she was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.
Janelle and partner Jason Carter, 30, planned to save for a deposit. But last August Mrs Chapman died, aged 54.
The couple were then told Janelle had made herself homeless by moving in with her mother, in Goodchild Way, Great Yeldham.
As a result, the couple and daughter Elise, three, were only offered temporary accommodation in Digby’s Court, where they have been sharing a bunk bed since December.
A letter, sent by a Braintree Council housing officer, said the family “chose to give up suitable, settled accommodation” to move in with Janelle’s mother.
The letter said: “If you failed to consider the possibility of your mother passing away within a few months of you moving in, given the seriousness of your mother’s condition and prognosis... I must conclude you were shutting your eyes to the obvious and can therefore not be said to have acted in good faith.”
Mr Carter works full time in a warehouse and Miss Chapman works part time in Mack’s barbers.
She said: “I’m not angry or upset with the decision but at being spoken to like that. I have not had time to grieve. I am going to put in a complaint about the way we have been spoken to.”
“Mum would have good days and bad days. Sometimes she would be laid up in bed and others she would want to get out the house while she was able to and we would go to the shops or the beach.
A Braintree Council spokesman said: ‘We are unable to comment on individual cases. However, officers often have to take difficult decisions which are not always easy to convey.
“The letter referred to includes headings which people may consider to be insensitive but these are issues which we have a statutory duty to consider and they are included in every adverse decision issued. The council does, of course, offer its apologies for any distress caused on this occasion.”