A COUPLE who are facing homelessness have called on housing associations to do more to help those in dire need of accommodation.

Jayne Warner, 65, moved back to Burnham in April this year with her husband Graham so he could find work near their family.

They had lived in France for several years, with Graham, 57, working as a handyman and electrician, but this year his back pains began to increase.

It wasn’t until after they had moved into Graham’s father’s caravan in Sea End Caravan Park, Burnham that his condition deteriorated, with three bulging discs in his spine, meaning by June this year he could hardly walk.

The couple have since been trying to find suitable accommodation in Essex and Suffolk whilst Graham goes through the long process of being declared medically unfit to work.

However, no accommodation has become available, and with the caravan park set to close at the end of November, the couple risk becoming homeless.

Jayne said: “We have been through services including the housing team at Maldon District Council, Maldon Housing Association and Gateway who cover the whole South East region.

“The fact that we have a dog, plus Graham’s need of a ground floor area because of his back doesn’t help matters.

“In Gateway I believe we’re something like 100th on the waiting list, and when places do come up it’s as far as Ipswich, and then we’re not eligible.

“We never planned for it to go this way, we couldn’t have known how much Graham’s back would deteriorate in such a short space of time. He’s had intermittent back pains, but was told it could be treated if it progressed, but now the doctor has told him it will never get any better.

Our plan was to stay in the caravan for a couple of months so he could get stable work, then rent somewhere.

“But now, we’re in no position to rent.

“The caravan park will be closing at the end of November. The only service we’ve been offered is a meeting with a homeless officer two weeks prior. It’s really, really scary.”

Jayne has called on authorities such as Maldon District Council and Maldon Housing Association to find more ways of helping those in desperate situations. She believes from talking to others in various forums that it is a widespread problem in the Maldon district.

She said: “I’ve spoken to people, some with bigger families, who have been waiting for something suitable for years. We’re just one of many, and we haven’t suffered for that long.

“I would like to see Maldon District Council come up with some sort of social housing solution for those desperately in need of somewhere to call home.

“Their housing team just don’t want to know, we’re just boxes needed ticking.

“Graham and I are being treated for depression at the moment. When you’re in our situation, it’s like your being pushed from all angles into a corner with no way out.”

Jane Toffel, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Maldon Housing Association, said: “We have a substantial waiting list, and a significant lack of resources when it comes to housing people.

“I’m not surprised to hear of those facing homelessness. Something must change, we’d love to build a whole new complex and will support any chance the district has of sustainable development, but it’s an awful situation in these times.”

Richard Holmes, Director for Community Services at Maldon District Council, said: “The Council is unable to provide comment on specific resident’s situations or cases, however, the Council’s Housing Service is in contact with the resident and supporting her in her applications to Gateway to Homechoice, ensuring she provides all the relevant information and is aware of the options.”