Desperate dad launches petition to stay in Hebburn home after death of mum to keep contact with children
A desperate dad launched an online campaign in a last-ditch attempt to persuade housing chiefs to let him stay in the home where he grew up so he can maintain contact with his children after the death of his mam.
Ryan Clark was told he must vacate the property in Surrey Road, Hebburn, by Monday, May 9, but has stayed put, hoping to remain in the house.
The 31-year-old, who was housed in a bedsit after the breakdown of his relationship, in 2021, had been staying with his mam June, on the days he had his children, to enable them to stay overnight.
Sadly his mam died on April 5 aged 71 after suffering health complications as a result of Covid, devastating the dad-of-two.
Ryan said moving back to the bedsit would leave him unable to have his daughter Evie, aged four, and son, Declan, aged nine-months, stay with him.
In a desperate bid to keep the home where he grew up in, he has launched an online petition asking for people to support him as he battles to keep the property so that he can maintain contact with his children.
Mr Clark said: “Even if the bedsit allowed visitors there is no way I would take my children there, it is an unsuitable place for children to be. There are people there with all sorts of issues.
“The council turned up within days of my mam dying and told me I would need to sign a paper to terminate the tenancy, which I refused to do.
"My mam meant the world to me, and after my dad died we became even closer. Losing her devastated me, but then within three days I had the council on the door.
"There was no compassion, no sympathy. I was going through a hard enough time as it was, and now I am at risk of losing contact with my children if I am forced out the house.
“It has been my mam and dad's home for more than 35 years, but because I wasn't on the rent book, I have to leave the place where I was brought up.
“I don't want any preferential treatment, but surely it would make sense to let me take over the tenancy so that I can keep seeing my children.”
Mr Clark said he was originally told he would have to leave the house within two weeks after notifying the council of his mam's passing, however, he was able to stay until May 9, after he was able to pay that month's rent.
Mr Clark added: “I have explained the situation regarding my children and that I have been to court and I can have them more nights if I have a place for them to stay, but they have said they can't do anything until they see a court order saying how often I have them, which I am still waiting to come through.
"Then it will take the council a further 28 days to review my situation – which is way past the date they gave me to move out.”
A spokesperson for South Tyneside Homes said on May 9: “We have been working with Mr Clark to support him with housing, but unfortunately he does not have the right of succession.
“Mr Clark is registered for rehousing from a different address, which is still available for his occupation.
“As Mr Clark has accommodation available to him, he is not homeless, but he can express interest in the homes advertised via Tyne and Wear Homes.
“Under his current circumstances, Mr Clark is entitled to one-bed accommodation, however, should this change and Mr Clark can provide the relevant supporting documentation, we will be happy to review his application and we will continue to work with him to find an offer of alternative accommodation.”
Mr Clark has since posted to say a member of the housing team was visiting next week to help him fill in an application form to keep the house, which will then be reviewed and a decision made.
His petition can be accessed by visiting https://www.change.org/p/keep-my-childhood-home-for-my-kids-who-i-have-50-of-the-time