Family-of-nine faced with splitting up or moving 150 miles away because of a lack of housing

A family of nine risks splitting up or leaving the area where they have lived all their lives after having two months to find a new home.

Ben Roberts, 27, and fiancée Amee Bettifon, 28, say they have to live apart after their landlady quit.

The couple, who have seven children under the age of six, have lived in Bodmin, Cornwall, all their lives.

But because of the housing crisis in the area, they have two months to find a new home and may have to move to Wales. Cornwall Live Report.

“It was an absolute shock to the system,” explained Ben.

“We didn’t know what to think. We always pay our rent and with coronavirus and everything it’s just a shock to the system when you say you have to move out. “

The problem comes after their landlady recently sold the property and Ben and Amee don’t know what to do next.

Ben also fears having to organize temporary accommodation because his eldest son has heart problems.

“We are traveling back and forth from the hospital so we are very careful about cleanliness and the thought of going in and out of B & B’s and temporary accommodations will be terrible.”

And that’s not the only concern. If the couple can’t find anything, they tell Amee and the children are forced to move to Wales where they “hop around” in makeshift shelters until something more permanent is available.

They claim this is the best Cornwall Council can offer right now after a “system glitch” resulted in their recently losing a four bedroom house – the same size they now live in.

Should they have to leave, Ben will have to say goodbye to his family as he will have to stay in Cornwall to keep his job as a delivery driver to support their extended family.

“We’ve been living her for a few years now after the previous landlord had to get rid of his house,” he said.

“But now we’ve been told the same thing, we have until October 30th to get out of here, and we’re just getting nowhere.”

The delivery driver claims Cornwall Council told them the closest accommodation was in Wales, but Ben says that is not a good thing as it would either mean quitting his job or living miles away from his family.

“I work in Dobwalls so it will be impossible to quit my job to go there,” explained Ben.

“We have seven children and I just don’t know what to do.”

He said he felt helpless as he wanted to keep the family together, but there was a severe shortage of real estate – especially the larger ones – in the area they call home.

Moving to another location would mean taking the children out of school and separating them from friends and family.

“It’s just a nightmare,” Ben continued. “It boils down to either quitting my job or splitting the family if Amee goes to Wales until we find something and there is no guarantee that it will happen anytime soon.

“I don’t think Amee could physically move to Wales and support our family without my help. So I had to leave her alone to ride a train with seven kids while I kept working and sending money to her every time I got paid, ”he said.

“We have a family here, the children’s schools, the hospital my boy goes to and it took him so long to feel confident enough to be in this hospital, and we’ve only got to that point now.

“Moving to Wales will be a whole new thing and a completely different atmosphere for him.

“It just feels like everything around me is slowly but surely crumbling.”

“It feels like everyone’s turning their backs when it’s drastic for us because we have seven kids and so much stuff that we have to move on the day we leave with nowhere to go.

“It’s just literally awful”.

CornwallLive has asked Cornwall Council to comment on the situation.


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