Disabled Solihull brothers win fight to stay in their home

Two disabled brothers threatened with eviction have won their fight to stay in their home of 34 years. Richard and Frank Smith signed a new tenancy deal with Solihull Council – two months after the authority threatened to kick them out of their home in Chelmsley Wood.

The brothers were ordered out even though money had been spent on adapting the property for wheelchair-bound Richard, but the U-turn came after lobbying from Councillor David Jamieson.

Richard, 54, has cerebral palsy and 56-year-old Frank, his full-time carer, suffers from acute anxiety. Frank said: “It is a huge relief to us.”

They were told to leave their home in Putney Walk, Chelmsley Wood, when their 90-year-old mother Catherine, the registered tenant, moved into a care home. The council said the brothers were under-occupying the property and would have to move to a two-bedroom home instead – but Richard has lived at the property since 1980, is settled in the community and their home was previously fitted with ramps, hand rails and a walk-in shower.

A third brother, Steve Smith, added: “This is a victory for common sense and decency. We applaud Solihull Council for reaching a humane and sensible decision.”

The Council had said in January: “We are awaiting confirmation that Mrs Smith has gone into residential care permanently. Her sons have no legal rights to the tenancy as it is in their mum’s name. We are looking for alternative two bedroom accommodation more suitable for their needs. An independent medical officer will also review their situation.”

Councillor Jamieson said of the about-turn: “It’s a triumph for democracy. I’m delighted everyone has seen sense and the brothers can stay in their home. The council came to the conclusion that to move them would cause untold anxiety and upheaval, and all the adaptations needed would have a cost too.”

Read the full story here: http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/disabled-solihull-richard-frank-smith-6795199.