Hook Norton single mum can’t afford to live in her housing association home

A single mother on benefits cannot afford to live in her housing association home in Hook Norton because the electric heating is too expensive to run.

Gemma Chaundy has had to use food banks and is facing eviction from her Sanctuary Housing bungalow in Well Bank for rent arrears.

Gemma Chaundy and her six-month-old daughter Florence who cannot afford to live in her Sanctuary Housing home in Hook Norton NNL-190304-100250001

Gemma Chaundy and her six-month-old daughter Florence who cannot afford to live in her Sanctuary Housing home in Hook Norton NNL-190304-100250001

Following the Channel 4 Dispatches documentary on the national housing association, the 31-year-old decided enough is enough.

“If it was me on my own then I would probably put up with it but I can’t, my daughter deserves better,” she said with tears in her eyes.

Miss Chaundy and her six-month-old daughter Florence have had to live with her father twice a week as she cannot afford to heat her poorly-insulated bungalow with an electric boiler.

She says the garden is partly inhospitable and she believes there is damp across one side of the bungalow.

Gemma and Florence next to the overgrown bank in her garden NNL-190304-100324001

Gemma and Florence next to the overgrown bank in her garden NNL-190304-100324001

“I just want somewhere I can afford to live and a garden I can simply maintain – it’s a nightmare,” she said.

After complaining to Sanctuary, an inspection of the bungalow found it had an energy efficiency rating of F35 – private landlords are not allowed to rent houses less than an E rating.

Miss Chaundy has been promised an oil tank heating system, like the rest of the village, and better insulation, but is yet to get a date for the work.

A Sanctuary spokesman said: ‘Miss Chaundy’s home is part of our energy improvement programme, which will include a heating upgrade, the installation of a new oil fired boiler and cavity insulation work carried out.

“Our external contractors will be starting the improvement work shortly and we will provide a date to Miss Chaundy as soon as it is agreed.

“We will remain in regular contact with Miss Chaundy to ensure she is receiving all the support that is available to her and can also confirm that maintenance staff had already arranged to visit this property earlier this week to finalise the work that will be done in the garden.”