Heath man faced with losing home after caring for dying mum

Howard Swann who is having housing benefit problems.
Howard Swann who is having housing benefit problems.

A Heath man who has spent the last two years looking after his dying mum is now faced with losing his home.

Howard Swann has been a carer for his 92-year-old mum Rose - who has Alzheimer’s - since January 2016.

Howard Swann who is having housing benefit problems.

Howard Swann who is having housing benefit problems.

However, rather than commute by bus every day from his Heath home to hers in South Normanton, he began staying in her spare room.

When the authorities found out about this arrangement, they stopped his housing benefit leading to a court appearance for non-payment of rent last week.

Howard, 68, said: “She just can’t do anything for herself, she can’t remember anything - she even forgets how to swallow properly.

“She doesn’t want to go in a home and I don’t want her to either. It is a lot of stress but now I have got this on top as well. It is extremely difficult and worrying. Sometimes I can’t get it out of my head.”

She just can’t do anything for herself, she even forgets how to swallow properly.

Howard Swann

The retired graphic designer, who has three grown-up children, said he would have liked to move his mum into his house, but that wasn’t an option.

“If they throw me out of here I could stay at my mum’s but I don’t want to leave this house,” he said.

“I like it here and I have plans for things I want to do with it. I could really do without this at the moment - I just don’t know what is going to happen.”

Howard says he has also been informed he faces another court appearance for non-payment of council tax, which he says he will struggle to pay on his state pension alone.

The rent arrears case has now been adjourned for 28 days while the court awaits reports.

A spokesperson for North East Derbyshire District Council, said: “As soon as we were informed Mr Swann’s circumstances had changed we wrote to him so we could sort out what benefits he was entitled to, but received no response - which has compounded the problems.

“We don’t want to take people to court as we would sooner them come and talk to us so we can help sort out any problems or issues, but at the end of the day it is the public purse and we have to work within the legislation and law.

“However, the court case has been adjourned for 28 days and we have written to him and his family again urging them contact us so we can speak to them.

“It is extremely important they do this so we can resolve the situation as soon as possible and mitigate any further problems.”