Angela Brighton spent her 26th wedding anniversary packing up her family’s belongings before returning to the budget hotel where she, her wheelchair-using husband, Mark, and their three sons have lived for the last four and a half years. The family’s housing association landlord has been granted permission to repossess their home, and the Brightons, unable to pay the resulting court costs and outstanding rent totalling £67,000, now face bankruptcy.

The repossession order, approved last week in Manchester crown court, marks the complete breakdown of an increasingly acrimonious relationship between the family and the Guinness Northern Counties Housing Association – a relationship which started with the best of intentions.

A hereditary condition causing the gradual crumbling of Mark’s spine and hips has left him using wheelchair since 1997, and Angela is his full time carer. The family was offered a new property in Ashton-under-Lyne, near Manchester, designed and built to meet Paul’s specific needs by the housing association on land given by Tameside metropolitan borough council. After some delays, including having to apply for a grant to install a lift to the main bedroom, the Brightons signed a tenancy agreement in April 1999 and moved in five months later.

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Source: Guardian, 13th February 2012

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