A STOURBRIDGE man faces a court battle to try keep the home he has lived in for nearly 50 years after being hit with an eviction notice after the death of his mother who rented the property from the local authority.

Steve White, aged 53, has lived in the three-bed semi in Bredon Avenue for 48 years – having moved in as a child with his parents.

But after his 81-year-old mother died in hospital with Covid-19 in October 2020 he was issued with an eviction notice as his mum had been the tenant.

Steve, a lift engineer, says he has appealed to the council to be permitted to stay at the property which holds a lifetime of family memories and provides a safe place to park the van he uses for work.

But his pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

He said: “I’ve had meetings with them. I did an online appeal. They don’t really care.

“I know there’s a housing problem but it’s not my fault.

“They’ve offered me lots of properties but I’ve lived here all my life.

“I watch out for people in the area. I’ve paid full rent since mom died and I don’t mind paying extra.”

He said the stress of the situation has left him seeing his GP for depression.

Cradley and Wollescote councillor Richard Body said: “Humanity has gone out the window.

"The council have the power of discretion and despite my pleas are determined to evict a tenant of over 48 years simply for now having a spare bedroom.

“This is a warning to all Dudley Council tenants, this shows your council property is not your home, and sadly the council will show no length of time loyalty.”

Cllr Body wants to see the council’s housing succession policy amended to give anyone who has lived in the same council property for 30-plus years the right to remain.

Councillor Laura Taylor-Childs, the authority’s cabinet member for housing and community services, said the council’s policy is “in line with legislation” and recognises there’s a “large waiting list with many families bidding each week for a family home” and she added: “As much as we would like to be able to allow tenants to remain in their childhood or long-term homes, it simply is not possible.

“The reality is we have families who are in desperate need of larger accommodation who are on our waiting list – some are homeless, severely overcrowded, or are awaiting larger properties to allow space for adaptations to help with lifelong disabilities. It simply is not right to allow a single person to remain in a three-bedroom property.”

She added: “It is incredibly sad to hear one of our tenants is going through this upset. Our teams have been on hand to help, and do not rush anybody who find themselves in this situation.

“We are committed to ensuring the tenant is not left without accommodation, and I have on many occasions urged the tenant via Cllr Body to encourage him to engage with the vast amount of support which has been offered.

“Unfortunately, it appears the tenant is not willing to take up that help and support. This has left us with no viable alternative but to take court action.”

The case is scheduled to be heard at Dudley Magistrates’ Court on Friday August 5.