Pen­sioner turns down ‘filthy’ ac­com­mo­da­tion of­fered by coun­cil OAP who lived in back of car re­jects car­a­van

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Housing Report - By Suz Elvey

selvey@thek­m­ A pen­sioner who has been liv­ing in her car is still in tem­po­rary ac­com­mo­da­tion af­ter claim­ing a car­a­van that was of­fered to her was “dis­gust­ing”.

Home­less grand­mother Han­nah Rose, 71, ar­rived in Ash­ford in Novem­ber with all her pos­ses­sions and her two pet cats packed into her Volk­swa­gen Golf es­tate and a home­made wooden trailer.

She asked Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil to help her find a car­a­van where she could stay and claim hous­ing ben­e­fit while she fixed her trailer, dried pos­ses­sions soaked when the ve­hi­cle leaked and searched for her dream home in an eco com­mu­nity.

How­ever, when she was shown a car­a­van she said it was so dirty there was no way she could stay there.

She de­cided in­stead to re­turn to the coun­cil-funded B&B she has been stay­ing in for the past month.

Ms Rose, who has lived all over the UK and abroad, most re­cently mov­ing to Kent from Sus­sex, said: “It was ab­so­lutely hor­ren­dous. The car­a­van was dis­gust­ing. The win­dows were not clean, the fur­nish­ings were ni­co­tine-en­crusted and the stench of cig­a­rettes was over­pow­er­ing. It was un­ac­cept­able. The friend who came with me said she wouldn’t put a dog in there.”

Ms Rose first went to the site on De­cem­ber 7 and was shown the out­side of the car­a­van but

‘The friend who came with me said she wouldn’t put a dog in there’

was not able to look in­side as no one had a key, she said.

She re­turned in­tend­ing to move in on De­cem­ber 22 but when she saw the in­side of the ve­hi­cle Ms Rose in­stead moved her be­long­ings into a smaller car­a­van that she claimed she had been of­fered on her first visit but had dis­missed due to its size.

She also left the cats in the car­a­van and re­turned to the town cen­tre B&B, which Ash­ford coun­cil has been pay­ing for her to stay in, for one fi­nal night.

How­ever, when Ms Rose re­turned to the car­a­van the fol­low­ing morn­ing she was in for a shock.

She con­tin­ued: “The car­a­van had gone and all my stuff, in­clud­ing my cats, had been chucked un­der a bro­ken awning. The cats were in a cage but they had no blan­ket and eve- ry­thing was wet. I was so dis­traught. When I first ar­rived and couldn’t see the cats or my stuff I pan­icked.”

Ms Rose also claimed that de­spite the coun­cil say­ing her hous­ing ben­e­fit could be used to cover the cost of rent­ing the car­a­van, the site owner asked her for a week’s pay­ment of £110 up front, which she could not af­ford to pay.

Han­nah Rose was shown a car­a­van but said it was too dis­gust­ing so turned it down

Han­nah Rose has been liv­ing in her car and trailer with two cats

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