A family-of-nine risk splitting up or leaving the area they’ve lived in their entire lives after they were given two months to find a new home.
Ben Roberts, 27, and fianceé, Amee Bettifon, 28, say they are facing the prospect of living separately after their landlady issued notice.
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,” Ben explained.
“We didn’t know what to think. We always pay our rent and with coronavirus and everything, being told you’re going to have to move out is just a shock to the system.”
The issue comes after their landlady recently sold the property, leaving Ben and Amee at a loss of what to do next.
Ben also fears having to organise temporary housing, as his eldest son has heart problems.
“We’re back and forth from the hospital so we’re really cautious with cleanliness and the thought of travelling in and out of B&Bs and temporary accommodation is going to be horrendous”.
And that’s not the only worry. If the couple can’t find anything they say Amee and the children will be forced to move to Wales where they will “bounce around” in temporary accommodation until something more permanent becomes available.
They claim that is the best that Cornwall Council can offer right now after a ‘system glitch’ meant they lost out on a four-bedroom local home recently – the same size they live in now.
Should they have to leave, Ben will have to wave goodbye to his family as he needs to stay in Cornwall to keep his job as a delivery driver to support their large family.
“We’ve lived 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 30 to get out of here and we’re just getting nowhere.”
The delivery driver claims that Cornwall Council has told them the closest accommodation it can offer is in Wales but Ben says that’s no good as it will mean either quitting his job or living miles away from his family.
“I work in Dobwalls so it’s going to be impossible without quitting my job to go up there,” explained Ben.
“We’ve got seven kids and I just don’t know what to do.”
He said he feels helpless as he wants to keep the family together but there is a severe shortage of properties – especially the larger ones – in the area they call home.
Moving elsewhere would mean taking the children out of school and away from friends and family.
“It’s just a nightmare,” continued Ben. “It boils down to me either quitting my job or splitting the family up if Amee goes to Wales until we find somewhere, and there’s no guarantee that will be anytime soon.
“I don’t think Amee could physically move to Wales and be able to support our family without me contributing. So I would have to leave her to go alone on a train with seven kids while I continued working and bank transferred money over to her every time I got paid,” he said.
“We’ve got family here, the kids’ schools, the hospital where my boy goes and it took him so long to get confident enough to be in that hospital and we’ve only just now got to that point.
“Moving up to Wales will be a whole new thing and a completely different atmosphere for him.
“It just feels like everything is crumbling around me slowly but surely.”
“It feels like everyone is turning their backs when, for us, it’s drastic because we’ve got seven kids and so much stuff that we will have to move on the day we leave, and with nowhere to go.
“It’s just literally horrendous”.
CornwallLive has contacted Cornwall Council for a comment on the situation.