A WIGAN family were left “numb” after being told they were to be booted out of their home ... on the eve of the grandfather’s funeral.
Alan Hanbury, his wife Annmarie, and their disabled five-year-old son Kian moved in with Alan’s 83-year-old father John earlier this year after he became unwell, caring for him until he died on June 19.
In the week that followed, the Hanburys set about arranging the funeral and registering his death.
But on June 27, the day before the service, they say they were devastated to see a letter from Wigan and Leigh Housing drop through the letterbox informing them that the tenancy at Warrington Lane, Scholes, would end in four weeks’ time.
They have applied to succeed the date but were shocked to find that the house, which has been in the family for almost 50 years, was also being put on offer to everyone. They had already given up their own previous home in order to care for John.
“It was just such horrible timing,” said Annmarie. “We were going through a really emotional time and this left us numb.
“We were shocked and confused and the time since has been really distressing.
“I know Wigan and Leigh Housing won’t have known the exact date of the funeral but surely common sense tells them it would have been that week.
“My son has autism so it’s been really difficult for him to understand what has been going and I’m really worried about what effect possibly losing his home could have on him.
“We had to move in to care for my father-in-law who has lived here for 47 years, so we really didn’t expect the property to be offered to everyone else.”
Chief executive of Wigan and Leigh Housing, Ashley Crumbley, has apologised for the timing of the letter but says the correct procedures have been followed.
He added: “When a death of a tenant is registered, it is a legal requirement to send a letter giving four weeks’ notice of the end of the tenancy.
“We were unaware of the funeral arrangements but we apologise that the timing of this letter added to the distress of the family at this difficult time.
“We can confirm that we have received an application to succeed the tenancy and this is currently being processed. In the meantime Mr Hanbury and his family continue to occupy the property.
“It is very important that we are notified of any people moving in to or out of a WALH property, so that we can deal with situations like this effectively and do our best to cause the minimum of distress.”