A MAN from Llandudno has told of his joy that he managed to find a new home in the town for his family of four after being given until the end of this month to leave their former property.
Lee Bennett, a 36-year-old painter and decorator, and his family were told on July 22 that the owner of their rented home, where they had lived for 11 years, wanted to sell the property.
Lee, who lives with partner Emma, 37, who works for the NHS, son Theo, 14, and daughter April, five, was given a deadline of September 25 to leave the property.
Last month, he told the Pioneer of his struggle to find alternative accommodation, which suited each member of his family’s needs.
Both Lee and Emma are also part-time Open University students, while Theo is about to start his GCSEs at his school, and April receives great support for her brain condition at hers.
Fortunately, though, the family managed to find a three-bedroom flat through Mostyn Estates, which they moved into at the end of August.
Lee said: “We still kept checking online, and we’re lucky we did, because nothing else really became available.
“We’re still working our way through boxes, which just seems never-ending.
“(It has) big rooms, a much bigger kitchen, and all in all, (it is) a really nice place.
“We heard through a friend that a flat was coming up in a block, so we got in touch with Mostyn Estates to see if it was able to view, filled out an application form, and it went from there really.”
Despite his relief at his family being able to stay in Llandudno, and at a property which he is more than satisfied with, Lee believes that changes need to be made to address the housing crisis further.
In February, it was reported that Conwy’s bill for placing homeless people in temporary accommodation has doubled in the last year.
The county was also found to have the fourth-highest number of people living in temporary accommodation in Wales, and 1,643 waiting on the housing register.
A freedom of information request also revealed that Conwy spent £2.5million last year alone providing temporary accommodation to the homeless.
This figure more than doubled the previous year’s £1.2m.
At the time, Conwy County Borough Council also said it had 547 people, or 285 households, in all forms of temporary accommodation, including 144 households in emergency accommodation.
Lee added: “We’re both relieved we found somewhere, but at the same time, we spent the majority of the summer holidays stressing, packing and moving.
“I think the whole 60 days’ deadline definitely needs to change when landlords/estate agents are asking for a property back.
“That just isn’t enough time for people to find somewhere, save for the deposit and whatever else is needed, to clean the old property, and move (into the new property).
“Also making viewings/places fairer; by that, I mean the amount of three-bed properties we did see, but that the landlords only wanted two people to live there, with no children or pets, was rather frustrating, to say the least.”
During Lee and his family’s struggle to find a new home, Janet Finch-Saunders, the Aberconwy MS, called the housing crisis “extremely distressing” and believes “urgent action” is needed to prevent the predicament from worsening.
Robin Millar, the MP for Aberconwy, added that the housing crisis in the region will “take time to resolve”.