Festive homeless fears for Mansfield family

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A Mansfield mother who is recovering from a serious illness says she faces being homeless over the Christmas holidays after a house move fell through.

Vanessa Lucas-Heathorn (43), who spent two weeks in intensive care last year with septicaemia and now has chronic fatigue syndrome, was hoping to move from her rented property on Valley View to a house a few doors down.

Mansfield District Council has offered to help pay for a bond on the new house because she is on sick leave from her job as a senior housing manager for Nottingham City Council. She had given notice to leave her current property and needs to be out by Saturday.

But after the council found that the new house was not structurally sound, she only has a few days to find alternative accommodation for her and her two sons, aged 12 and 14. So far, she has been unable to find a suitable new home.

She said: “I’m really struggling, and I’m too ill to do anything at the moment. The situation has caused more stress and I feel like I’ve been left high and dry.

“I’m trying to look every day for somewhere to live. How can that house be structurally unsound, it’s only about 10 years old?

“I’ve done nothing for Christmas, I’ve bought nothing for my boys and I’ve got no food in, it’s going to be awful.”

Hayley Barsby, head of housing services at Mansfield District Council, said: “When the council agrees to provide a bond for a private tenancy, we have a duty to ensure the property is suitable.

“The offer of a bond still stands as it is provided to an individual rather than on a specific property.

“Other similar properties are available for private rental in the same area and we are continuing to provide ongoing help and support to secure a suitable property.”

Anyone who can offer alternative accommodation to Vanessa and her family is being asked to contact Nick at Chad on 01623 450305.