Hundreds support disabled Harlesden mum’s eviction fight

Sarah Martin with son Ishmael Parker and brother Andrew Martin who've launched a petition to stay in

Sarah Martin with son Ishmael Parker and brother Andrew Martin who've launched a petition to stay in their home - Credit: Archant

Hundreds have backed a disabled mum facing eviction from her family home in Harlesden.

Catalyst Housing says the fact Sarah Martin rented a temporary second flat until 2014 to get her son into a Wembley school proves she was never a “primary resident” of her mum’s home in Marian Way, and therefore has no right to inherit the tenancy. She disputes this and fears her family could end up on the streets if the eviction goes ahead.

Sarah, who has multiple sclerosis, has lost her court appeal against Catalyst Housing, meaning she, her brother Andrew and son Ishmael Parker face being kicked out of the three-bedroom house where they grew up. But more than 300 people have signed a petition urging Catalyst to think again.

“I want Catalyst to reconsider putting us out on the streets,” she told the Brent & Kilburn Times. “Rental prices are astronomical. I couldn’t afford the Wembley flat and there’s no security in the private sector if the landlord wants their property back. I’ve seen that umpteen times in my work when we have to rehouse people.

“We haven’t had a chance to grieve properly. I’ll have to live with the MS all my life. It is already affecting my ability to walk properly and all this stress doesn’t help.”

Following their mother’s death from cancer in 2014, Catalyst gave succession rights for the property to Sarah’s older sister, only for her to be downsized to a one-bedroom flat nearby.

But Sarah, who works in Ealing Council’s temporary housing department, insists: “Catalyst were fully aware there were other members of the household living in the property.”

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Of her decision to leave the flat she rented between 2010 and 2014, she said: “I had a mini stroke in 2012 and had to have help with my son from my mum.”

She added: “Marian Way was my principal home, and I was my mum’s principal carer. The bills were in my name since 2012. My brother and I had documents that proved we were living there.”

A Catalyst spokesman said: “Both courts found in our favour by examining the evidence and determining Sarah Martin and her brother were not the primary residents of Marian Way, and therefore had no right to succeed the tenancy. [Repossession] will allow Catalyst to let at a social rent to a family on Brent Council’s housing waiting list.”

To sign Sarah’s petition go to