Northampton Crufts winner given three months to find a home or she is back on the streets again

A former bus driver from Northampton, who became unemployed after losing her eyesight, has been told to find accommodation or she could face living on the streets for the second time.

Thursday, 3rd May 2018, 11:30 am
Linda is fearing for the worst after Midland Heart have told her 'A Notice To Quit' will be issued on June 29, with an enforcement date of July 30. (Here she is pictured with her Lwchen, Ashley after winning Crufts in March).

Linda McFarlane, 40, of Oasis House, was sent a licence review by Midland Heart housing organisation on Friday (April 30) giving her three months to find a privately rented property before a possible eviction on July 30.

The former bus driver says she has been actively looking for homes in Northamptonshire but is finding it extremely difficult to find a property without a guarantor.

She said: “You know, I can only afford what the council are going to give me, and at £404 a month, you’re going to get nothing. You’re not even going to get a room in a house with that."

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The Crufts winner lives with two of her pets at Oasis House after she was evicted from her home in Weedon and found herself living in a tent in Swan Valley for eight weeks.

Linda, who has only been residing at Oasis House for eight months, said many residents have been living there for years and questions why she is being thrown out after 32 weeks.

"How can they justify putting someone who is blind on the street?" she added. "Someone who is blind is just as vulnerable as the drug addicts.

"I threw my tent out and everything because I thought I was going to get housed."

She said she was petrified of having to sleep rough again after recent reports of tents being set on fire in Northampton.

"People spit at you, they kick you, they pee on you," she added.

"I’ve been kicked and spat at on a Saturday night when I was sitting in town before I got my tent back in August - it’s not a good place to be."

Director of supported living Tom Harrison said: "Supported accommodation, such as that offered by Oasis House is a short-term solution that provides support to help an individual to get back on their feet if they find themselves homeless.

"This type of accommodation is scarce and much needed in Northamptonshire and it is important that we set clear expectations to those in the service and support them to move on to independent accommodation when they are ready to do so.

"We have been and will continue to work closely with our customer, along with our partners, NAASH, to identify a suitable, long-term solution to their accommodation needs."