Sidmouth family joy at home hope

A RELIEVED Sidmouth family feel they are a step closer to fleeing their over-crowded home after council bosses bumped them up the housing list.

A RELIEVED Sidmouth family feel they are a step closer to fleeing their over-crowded home after council bosses bumped them up the housing list.

Alison, 34, and Nick Raw, 30, met with East Devon District Council (EDDC) this week after the Herald revealed they were living with their three daughters, Philippa, Sophie, and Mya, in a two-bedroom house.

The Raw family say they first applied for a place on the transfer housing list after they moved into their High Meadow home in 1998.

But it seems they were locked in a stalemate situation with EDDC which said it had no knowledge of any transfer application before 2003.

However, following a meeting on Tuesday, the Raw family's housing transfer application has been backdated.

They will sign an affidavit-a sworn statement-which confirms they originally applied for a place on the transfer register in 1998.

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Alison, who suffers from depression, said: "I did actually get emotional during the meeting- it was because I felt relief that the council was going to do something."

It has been a difficult time for the Raw family as Alison and Nick's youngest daughter, three-year-old Mya, was this year diagnosed with juvenile arthritis.

The family were already classified as living in an over-crowded house and were in the urgent Gold Band category.

When Mya was diagnosed with the painful condition the family were also moved into the medium-priority group from a medical point of view.

Now the family's transfer application has been back-dated, it is hoped they could move within the next six months.

Alison added: "I do feel a bit relieved but will be more relieved when we get to our new house and I'm having a cup of tea!

"EDDC is dealing with people who have been on the list since 1999/2000 so we should be at the top of the list.

"If it is just dealing with applications from these years now, we would still be waiting for a house in three years time if our application hadn't been back-dated."

Alison would like to thank her friend Kate Kennison for her support and help.

A spokesperson for EDDC confirmed it has proposed Alison signs an affidavit.

He added: "This will enable our housing team to backdate her transfer application registration to June 1998.

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