Help us to keep our family home!
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On 25th August this year our wonderful, funny, kind and very popular Dad Bernard Fowler sadly passed away after a short illness, which was a very aggressive brain tumour.
As you can imagine myself and the rest of our family are completely devastated at losing such a great father, grandfather and great-grandfather who we all adored and was the very heart of all of us.
When we found out Dad was so ill and there was nothing the doctors could do for him we all stayed with him and cared for him in his home until the very end. We were given the option by the lovely Ellenor team of him being cared for in their hospice but being such a close family we could never have let that happen, and Dad wanted to stay at home, which had been all of our family home for 40 years.
Dad's house is a council property, where we all grew up with him and our lovely Mum, who herself passed away 19 years ago, and when Dad's illness struck we had to think of the possibility of losing the house as Dad's was the only name on the tenancy, and up until this point we had no reason to change this. However, just the thought of clearing out the house was totally unbearable and we felt that if this were to happen we would be effectively erasing our Dad's memory.
After many discussions we came up with the idea of buying the property so none of us would have to face the heartbreak of 'getting rid' of Dad's and our belongings, or see another family live in 'our' home.
By the time we came to this decision Dad's tumour had badly affected his memory and it was just two months from the time we got the terrible news to when he passed away, therefore any efforts by us to make the necessary changes to the tenancy, or indeed buy the property would not have been possible.
After Dad's passing we contacted West Kent Housing to explain our situation and asked them to consider our offer, but we were turned down flat by the tenancy team. We did however continue with our bid to buy the property, even proposing alternative options to help us keep our home. We also contacted our local MP Michael Fallon to ask for his help with the matter, and wrote to the Chief Executive of West Kent Housing Frank Czarnowski, offering to put our case to their board of governers. Again we were turned down flat.
We have been told that 'every consideration' had been given to our request, however we were not told who exactly was involved in the making of the decision, or offered the chance to see any minutes recorded in the meeting which should have taken place, or given the right to appeal the decision. We were merely told that the right to buy our Dad's property ceased when he passed away, and that the property would not be considered for sale unless it was considered not financially viable for West Kent Housing, i.e. in need of a great deal of cash spending on it to bring it to a decent living standard.
After doing some research we discovered that they would consider selling these properties on occasion as long as the funds from the property stay within the Sevenoaks district.
We are now at a loss of what to do or where to go with this next so we are asking you all to please sign our petition to support our cause and hopefully if we can get enough signatures West Kent Housing will overturn their decision and let us all continue to let our lovely Dad's memory live on and help us keep 40 years of wonderful family memories very much alive.
Thanking you all in advance for your help and support with this matter which means so much to us
Claire Fowler & family
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