Family of five on Universal Credit face eviction over unpaid rent

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A family in Rotherham are at risk of homelessness after being ordered to leave their home on Monday.

Parents Amy Winter and Joshua Thain, and their three children who live with them, are set to be evicted from the Brunswick Street home in Thurnscoe for unpaid rent.

A judge ordered the family to move out on January 31 after several months of missed rent payments, but Amy and Joshua say Barnsley council were aware of the situation and did not help.

Amy, 26, and Joshua, 27, are on Universal Credit and live with Sky, five, Daisy-Mae, Lexi, four and 18 months. Amy is currently five months pregnant and the couple have a fourth child, nine-year-old Macauli, who lives with Amy’s mother.

Amy told the Huddersfield Examiner: “It’s so bad that we’re not going out or anything because we’re worried. I asked my family if they can help me, they can’t help me with housing as they only live in one bed and two bedroom houses.

“The only person trying to help is my partner’s uncle, but he lives in Somerset.



Amy Winter with partner Joshua Thain and children Daisy-Mae, Skye and Lexi who are being evicted from their home in Brunswick Street, Thurnscoe near Rotherham

“I think Barnsley council need to come clean and figure out what they’re going to do, instead of just telling us one thing and then another thing.”

The property is owned by Sanctuary Housing and the tenancy agreement was in the name of Joshua’s late mother, Victoria Robertshaw, who died aged 45 in August after testing positive for Covid-19.

Amy accused Sanctuary Housing staff of being rude to her.

Amy said: “They [Sanctuary Housing] were rude about it, saying they were just going to kick us out. We’re just waiting for them to kick down the door now. Barnsley Town Council said ‘just close your doors’.

Barnsley Council says they offered advice on different accommodation options, but Amy claims the options they were offered would result in the family splitting up.

Amy said: “I’m not breaking up my family after everything that happened with Josh losing his mum, I said ‘I’m not breaking up my family just because you want to’.”

A spokesperson for Sanctuary Housing said: “On Monday January 31, an order for outright possession of this property was granted by a judge in court asking the occupants to vacate it within 7 days.

“The proceedings concerned significant rent arrears which had accumulated without any rent having been paid for several months, despite our attempts to resolve the problem before going to court.

“We have liaised with Barnsley Council to ensure occupants can access alternative accommodation as soon as possible, so that this property can then be offered to a family who are currently waiting on Barnsley’s housing listing.”



Amy Winter with partner Joshua Thain and children Daisy-Mae, Skye and Lexi who are being evicted from their home in Brunswick Street, Thurnscoe near Rotherham
Amy Winter with partner Joshua Thain and children Daisy-Mae, Skye and Lexi who are being evicted from their home in Brunswick Street, Thurnscoe near Rotherham

Barnsley councilor Jenny Platts, the firm’s spokesperson for adults and communities, said: ‘Our housing team continues to work with the couple and offer them advice on their housing options and support to consider a alternative accommodation.

“As part of this process, we learned about their current and past housing situation, helping us to explore all possible accommodation options with them.

“Our housing team are available to offer support and assistance, whether you are homeless or fear you may become homeless, and they provide advice based on individual circumstances.

“We encourage anyone concerned about their housing situation to contact us as soon as possible to tell us about your situation.”

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