Published: 00:01, 11 May 2014
A change in housing rules means a severely disabled man is stuck in his two-storey council house because he is “not disabled enough” for a transfer.
Since Anthony Dodge, 47, moved into his council home in Brook Road, Faversham, his health has worsened, and he now uses the kitchen sink to wash and sleeps on the sofa, because he can’t get upstairs.
He has asked to be transferred to a single-storey home to improve his quality of life.
But on April 28, Swale Borough Council changed the rules, meaning Mr Dodge no longer meets the criteria for a move.
He has had letters of support from both MP Hugh Robertson and Faversham GPs, but he remains ‘trapped’ in his house on the North Preston estate.
He moved in just over a year ago with his wife Michelle, 49, and her daughter and granddaughter.
He suffers from widespread osteoarthritis, depression, diabetes, a personality disorder and needs medication to slow down his heart rate.
He barely sleeps an hour each night because he becomes so uncomfortable.
As Anthony’s condition has worsened, Michelle has become his carer. She described their current situation as “depressing”.
Michelle said: “I broke down in tears recently because it is so stressful.
“I do what I can but he has so many needs and in this house, it is impossible.
“I wash him down in the kitchen, but my daughter and granddaughter are here so it’s hard to get any privacy to maintain his dignity.”
Anthony visits a friend in Sittingbourne once a week to have a proper shower or bath, but because neither he nor Michelle drives and Anthony is too poorly to use the bus, they have to get taxis.
Anthony said: “We were told initially that we could get a transfer, and we were bidding on a one-bedroom flat.
“But then we were told that changes in the system meant that we weren’t under any band at all and we won’t be able to move because there were others with higher housing needs.
“I am now appealing, but who knows what will happen next? We feel let down by the council because nobody told us about these changes.”
Anthony wants an apology from the council, and for it to find him somewhere suitable to live.
“I just want somewhere we can call home and where it’s safe for me" - Anthony Dodge
He said: “It’s awful how they have treated us, so I don’t trust them as far as I can throw them. They have contradicted themselves and have messed me around so much.
“I just want somewhere we can call home and where it’s safe for me.”
Swale head of housing services Amber Christou said: “Following the implementation of the new allocations policy, Mr Dodge was removed due to the supporting information held at that time.
“New information has now been supplied which has resulted in his application being reviewed, and Mr Dodge remains on the housing register.
“The changes have been made to ensure that we focus on helping those with a housing need who already live in the borough.
“It is really important that we support those residents who are in the greatest need, while being realistic that we are not in a position to be able to meet the aspirations of all 5,000 households who would like to access social housing in the borough.”
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.