Family of 13 is afraid they may be evicted and be without a house

Family of 13 is afraid they may be evicted and be without a house

A 13-person household fears eviction after receiving an eviction notice.

Clifford Westfall and Clair Patterson share an eight-bedroom home with their nine children, plus Clifford's and Clair's siblings who require extra care.

The council has instructed the family to vacate their house of two and a half years by January 26, YorkshireLive reported.
If they can't locate a new home in time, the parents fear living in a hostel.

Clifford, 37, expressed concern regarding housing. "All we want is to be a family," he stated.

The couple pays £1,000 a month for a privately leased home and wants to stay.

Clair: "If we lived somewhere else, I couldn't physically transport seven kids to four separate schools and back to work. It's impossible." We don't desire a big shift. We aim to keep things as normal and joyful as possible.

"The only way is to keep the kids where they are."

However, a landlord-built expansion contravenes planning requirements. The renovation went over budget and the house is now excessively tall.

A planning inspector's appeal and three retrospective applications have all failed.

A compulsory purchase order was obtained by the council. First, Clifford and Clair were told to leave by January 26.
Clifford and Clair said they sought the municipality for help finding new places to live after being told to leave.

"Nothing for a family our size," Clifford stated.

"Years ago, we lived in a three-bedroom house. We were overjoyed, but it was too little.

"We have never felt safe or comfortable in this large mansion.

"The council says we can't live together because we require four or five bedrooms, but we need to be together."

They even wanted to have two houses pulled down into one.
"We're not in it for the money," Clifford remarked. "We'll gladly pay our way.

"We rent for £1000/month. We pay £378 in council tax and all our bills.

"We won't take anything for free from the system. We work hard for everything.

"We don't want a big house. We pay. We just want to be."

"We will pay two sets of council tax, two sets of bills," Clair remarked.

When asked for response, the council indicated it was trying to extend the deadline beyond January 26, but this has yet to be authorised.
A council representative said the council "would continue to help" the family and is looking into offering "two adjacent or close-by dwelling units."

Clifford and Clair believe their family may be placed into a hostel.

"I thought, ‘Is that really real?'" remarked Clifford.

"What is a foot or two feet when it comes to a family?

"But an inn? It's impossible. It's a no."
They have one kid together, but custody of eight others. The youngest is two and the oldest is 19.

Local councillor Mohsin Hussain urged the council to aid the family more.

said he "This house is incredibly tough to find, but I have told the council that we need to find another home for Clifford and his family - or extend the deadline.

"The council is not at fault here, but Clifford and his family need support from the council and housing associations."

I hope this never happens to me or any of my constituents."

But the family, who spent Christmas with the deadline looming, is still without a home.

"We just want to be a family," Clifford remarked. "We don't want to stay at a remote hostel.

"We don't want freebies or giveaways. We just need help.

"We want to keep the family safe."
They say they pay Jigsaw Property Services. "We managed the property for a brief time, but we no longer lease it out," said a letting agent representative.

A council official said: "Mr Westfall appears to be referring to a planning permit breach rather than a building code breach. The owner of the property received this in 2018 to extend the house, but the actual works carried out exceeded the allowed height of the property.

"Since the repair was completed, three distinct retroactive roof height applications have been submitted. These applications were all denied, and the owner's appeal to the government's planning inspector was dropped on May 28, 2020." Following this, the owner was served an enforcement notice asking them to comply with the authorised planning approval or dismantle the unlawful works. No appeal was filed against the enforcement notice, therefore it was due by August 18, 2021.

"Mr Westfall and his family have been assessed for rehousing by the Local Authority's Housing Options Service in accordance with the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.

"The Housing Options Officer is now looking at private and social housing options. Providing two lodging units adjacent or close to each other is also included." To avoid eviction, the Local Authority must provide Mr Westfall with temporary housing through one of our commissioned providers. If needed, temporary housing will be provided nearby. The Local Authority will continue to assist Mr Westfall and his family.

"The council is presently compiling legal papers to extend the current deadline of January 26, 2022 to provide Mr Westfall and his family more time to find suitable home options. This documentation will be delivered to him within seven days."

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