City man may have to live out of his car after his flat is sold

Gareth Ward's Bertie Road flat is being sold but due to rent increases he has been unable to find another property 

Gareth Ward's Bertie Road flat is being sold but because of rent increases and his credit history he has been unable to find another property - Credit: Gareth Ward

A man who is being turfed out of his home may be forced to live out of his boot come the weekend.

Gareth Ward, 47, has been living in his Bertie Road flat for three years as part of a private sector leasing scheme.

The NR3 property is part of a project which allows the council to work with people on low income to put them into private housing.  

However Gareth's landlord has decided to sell up with the tenant asked to leave the property by March 6.  

Gareth Ward has lived in his NR3 home for three years and has found he is being turned down for everything he views. 

Gareth Ward has lived in his NR3 home for three years and has found he is being turned down for everything he views. - Credit: Gareth Ward

Norwich City Council said it is working with Gareth to get a housing plan in place - but the mental health supporter has no idea if, or when, a solution might be found. 

He said: “I've had issues with credit in the past so I am being turned down despite proving I am responsible now.

"A lot of other properties are more expensive now and are out of my budget."

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With no plans in place Gareth is looking to his driveway for a solution. 

He said: “It’s looking more and more likely that I will have to live in my car.” 

This would change Gareth’s living quarters from a one-bedroom flat to 14.3ft by 5.9ft Vauxhall Astra. 

Gareth added: “I work really hard and help people every day.

“I feel like I should be better off. I work all the hours I can but I pay half of my wages in rent and that’s before bills. At this rate before long the whole city will be homeless."  

Gareth Ward, 47, is struggling with housing in Norwich and may be forced to live in his car. 

Gareth Ward, 47, is struggling with housing in Norwich and may be forced to live in his car. - Credit: Gareth Ward

A Norwich City Council spokesman said: “Tackling homelessness, especially preventing homelessness from happening in the first place, is something the city council, along with key city partners, is deeply committed to – and which we can evidence very clearly and tangibly. 

“An important part of our housing strategy sees dedicated officers working with private landlords to rent properties from private landlords and let them to people on lower incomes who are in housing need. 

“Over the past year, our proactive approach has directly prevented more than 650 households from experiencing homelessness and supported many hundreds more in resolving their own housing issues. 

“We’ve been working with Mr Ward and have agreed a personalised housing plan for him.”