Bexhill family launch petition over eviction fears

Kelly Donoghue with her son Cain
Kelly Donoghue with her son Cain

The family of a Bexhill woman who died just before Christmas say they fear they will be evicted from their housing association home.

Mum-of-one Kelly Donoghue, 33, died on December 14 after suffering from complications caused by a life-long battle with congenital heart disease.

For several years before her death Kelly had rented a home from the housing association Optivo, which she shared with her 10-year-old son Cain and her own mum.

Kelly’s mother, Ann Donoghue, had planned to stay in the home with her grandson and had approached Optivo about succession. But last week, the family says, they were sent a ‘notice to quit’ letter ordering them to leave the home by February 12.

Kelly’s sister Anna Wood said: “It’s an absolute nightmare. My mum has already got her hands full and we have a 10-year-old boy who just lost his mum.

“We’ve not told Cain yet as he has had too much change already for him.”

In response to the letter the family have set up a petition on change.org, calling on the housing association to rethink its decision. It has more than 3,600 signatures so far. The petition can be found at http://bit.ly/2DjR3hy.

An Optivo spokesman said: “We were very sorry to hear of the family’s loss and our sympathies remain with them.

“The family approached us about the succession of the property and were keen to start the process immediately. No decision has been made about the future and no time constraints have been placed on the family to make any decision at this difficult time.

"Our staff are working closely with Kelly Donoghue’s mum, Ann, to provide advice and find a long term housing solution suitable for her and her grandson. We will continue to offer our support and again offer our sincere condolences for their loss.”

After being contacted by this paper for clarification about the notice to quit letter, the spokesman added: “This is a legal process and the letter sent out to Ann sets out the formal legal position.

“However, to reaffirm, no time constraints are being placed on the family at this difficult time.

“We are continuing to support Ann to find a long term housing solution suitable for her and her grandson. If Ann has any questions our staff will be happy to help her further.”