Young family avoid being left on street as Brent Council admits letter wasn't received
PUBLISHED: 14:43 12 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:43 12 February 2019
A disabled father and three-year-old son who fear being back on the streets after opening a letter from Brent Council discharging its homeless duty to them may have a reprieve.
Carlos Tucker and his son Carlos Sabastian Tucker were told they would have to quit their Harlesden hostel on Friday.
The council claimed Mr Tucker failed to turn up to sign for a one-bedroom property which he contested.
But following intervention from this paper the council have agreed to arrange another offer.
The 40-year-old father of four, who was medically retired from the British Army in 2008, said: “If that’s what they want to do, put us back on the streets […] I don’ t mind but I have to think of my son, he comes first.”
Young Carlos moved from Jamaica to come and live with his father in October. At the time Mr Tucker was staying in a military hostel which doesn’t accept children, following the breakdown of his relationship with his wife.
The pair spent a week in his car until October 12 when they were given shelter in the hostel.
Last month the council made him a direct offer of a one-bedroom flat to be signed for on January 15. Mr Tucker claims he did not receive the letter in time, something the council now accepts.
In a recorded telephone call four days earlier on January 11, heard by the Times, the council told him it did not have a date or time for him to view the flat but the eviction letter dated January 16 claims he was given these details.
In the letter, Brent’s officer for private rented offers, said: “I spoke to you on January 11, 2019, and advised you that you were being made a private rented sector offer of accommodation, I gave you the details of the accommodation and confirmed the time and place for sign up.”
He said: “She only told me there was an offer. I never refused that property; I asked if I could get advice as I was told I could qualify for a two bedroom flat.
“My son is growing and my 14-year-old daughter also visits me. I wanted to see it first too, see if it had a lift.”
He added: “I don’t know what we are going to do. Because he’s here, I have to be strong for him.”
Brent’s housing boss, Cllr Eleanor Southwood, said: “I’m very sorry that Mr Tucker has been let down so badly by this process. “I have looked into his case and understand that he did not receive the written offer we made and as such I have instructed that we make a new offer.
“I look forward to Mr Tucker and his son finally moving into a new home.”