A Sheffield family are fighting to keep a house where their mother – who passed away earlier this month – lived for over 30 years.
Sarah Turton, 40, is currently in a battle with Sanctuary Housing, after asking them if she could swap her own three-bedroom council property in Parson Cross, for her late mother’s house of the same size in Shiregreen.
Having lost her mother Susan Clarke, on December 18 to lung cancer and metastasis aged 61, Sarah is in desperate need to keep the family home on Fircroft Road, which has seen four children and ten grandchildren grow up.
Susan moved into the house over 30 years ago, meaning the family have a lifetime of memories held within the walls.
Sarah says it would be yet another blow to them if they could not keep the house.
She said: “They’ve told us we’ve got to hand the keys in within the week. It’s awful, all our memories are there. We’ve all grown up there there’s a lot of sentimental value. I could understand if I was taking a house away from someone, but I just want to swap mine.
“I always said I would never move into a house where someone passed away, but the house means so much to me. It is what mum would have wanted. We need a family member to be in the house.
“It would be devastating to see someone else in there. Mum would mark on the door frame the height of all the children, it’s the little things like that.”
Sarah’s brother Byron, who has three children and lives in a two-bedroom property owned by Sanctuary Housing, is also bidding for the home.
Sarah added: “Mum left two dogs, and we’ve just found out one of them has cancer. It just seems like blow after blow.
“The community meant everything to my mum. Her last wish was to hear a carol concert, so the family organised it and everyone from the community came.
“She wanted to be at home, that is where her heart was. We’ve got the backing of the other residents, but Sanctuary won’t even have a meeting with us.
“If we can’t keep the house it would just finish me off it means that much to me, it is what mum would have wanted.
“The house needs a lot of work but we are prepared to do it all just so we can keep the house.”
John Hanson, Head of Housing at Sanctuary Housing, said: “We would like to express our sincere condolences to Ms Turton on the loss of her mother.
“While we appreciate the sentimental value that the home has, under the terms of her mother’s tenancy agreement and relevant housing law, Ms Turton does not have the right to acquire the tenancy, as she would need to prove that she was living there for 12 months at the time of her mother’s death.
“The home will be let through the local choice based letting scheme in due course and Ms Turton is welcome to bid for it.”