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Lidgate family want to 'settle down and live their lives' after year of misery in home owned by housing association



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A Suffolk man has said he is living through the most harrowing time of his life after a year of continuous issues with his housing association-owned property.

John Cranshaw and his family moved into their home, in Lidgate, near Newmarket, in November after they were told by Havebury Housing Partnership that the property was fit for purpose.

But within weeks they were told the house was suffering from joist deflection, the bending of beams underneath a house caused by heavy loading, and they would have to move out, but the housing association has not offered the family a suitable alternative for them to live.

John and Suzanne Cranshaw alongside their children, Daniel, Jacy and Elise. Picture: Richard Marsham.
John and Suzanne Cranshaw alongside their children, Daniel, Jacy and Elise. Picture: Richard Marsham.

Mr Cranshaw said: "It's been the most harrowing time of my life. We just want to settle down and live our lives."

When they first moved into the Havebury Home, they found mould in the cupboards and fleas in the carpet, while the flooring is uneven due to the joist deflection.

According to Mr Cranshaw, after deeming the house fit for purpose, Havebury then surveyed the house to find that it was suffering with the aforementioned issue.

A large crack in the Cranshaw home. Picture: Richard Marsham.
A large crack in the Cranshaw home. Picture: Richard Marsham.

It has left John, his wife Suzanne, and their three children, searching for answers as to why their 'forever home' was deemed fit for purpose initially.

He said: "They have since done a survey and found the house is sinking. They now want us to move out for six months, miles away from our children's schools."

As part of their decanting process, John has been offered three homes, neither of which are suitable for his families needs.

Their home has been suffering with a number of issues. Picture: Richard Marsham
Their home has been suffering with a number of issues. Picture: Richard Marsham

In one home, the toilet was downstairs, unsuitable for the needs of his disabled wife, who has COPD, a respiratory condition. Havebury then offered a home in Thetford, over an hour away from the school that his children attend.

At first, Havebury told the Cranshaw family that the temporary move, allowing for renovation works to take place, would be for between three and five weeks. However, the move will now be for between six months and a year.

"They offered us compensation of £1,700 for a year of misery," John added. "It feels like they have been fobbing us off. It has got to the point where it is affecting my relationship.

"We have had this like it is something out of a film. All I want is the same house. There has been a failing on their part."

A Havebury Housing spokesman said: "Mr and Mrs Cranshaw moved into their home via a mutual exchange. This way of moving is organised by tenants themselves and our role as responsible landlords is to undertake key safety checks such as gas safety inspections.

"As soon as we were made aware of works needed to be undertaken, a dedicated officer has been working hard with the family to find temporary accommodation that suits their requirements as much as we’re able to. We have well-used processes to make any temporary accommodation move as smooth as possible, and Mr and Mrs Cranshaw will continue to have their dedicated officer working with them throughout this process.

"We are just as keen as Mr and Mrs Cranshaw to resolve this as soon as possible."

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