Plea for truth over housing shortage in Chichester

Edward Rogers, his partner Jessica Baker and children Jamie and Jermaine outside their tempory Goodwood Estate home.    Picture by Louise Adams C131327-1
Edward Rogers, his partner Jessica Baker and children Jamie and Jermaine outside their tempory Goodwood Estate home. Picture by Louise Adams C131327-1

A FAMILY faces moving into a bed and breakfast after housing bosses could not find them anywhere to live in Chichester.

Edward Rogers and his girlfriend Jessica Baker were informed on Tuesday they would have to move into a B&B next week, despite being told by the district council that would be a ‘last resort’, as they gave notice of their need for social housing three months ago.

“I understand the council struggles with housing,” said Edward. “But give people information to let them know there’s no housing. Tell them there’s a good chance of having to go into a B&B rather than a good chance you will be able to house them.”

While saying he did not mind moving into a guesthouse, the family now has to find somewhere at the last minute to store their belongings.

The couple have two sons – Jamie and Jermaine, aged eight and four – who attend Portfield Primary Academy.

Edward said the family could not afford to rent privately in Chichester.

“I would be quite happy to, but the deposit is too expensive,” he said.

He works as a gardener at the Goodwood Estate, where the family currently live. He described it as ‘brilliant’, adding they moved in last December on a temporary tenancy.

As soon as they were given three months’ notice to leave their home at Goodwood, they went to CDC.

Edward said he called the council three times in the last three months to see what was going on – and also visited in person – but was never told how things were progressing.

Both Edward and Jessica have grown up in the Chichester area and lived there almost all their lives.

Prior to being offered a cottage on the estate, the family lived in a caravan in Connelly’s Yard, in Sidlesham, which he described as a ‘roof over our heads’.

A Chichester District Council spokeswoman said the council could not comment on individuals.

However, she added where possible the council would try to use its own temporary accommodation when they believed someone was in priority need.