Evicted family of eight fear they will be forced to sleep on the streets of Milton Keynes

The council says it cannot help because the tenants are 'intentionally homeless'

A family of eight has today been evicted from temporary accommodation by the council and fear they will have to sleep on the streets.

Sarvania Cooper, her partner Wayne Byfield and their six children were ordered by bailiffs to leave their four bedroom house in Hatton, Tinkers Bridge, this afternoon.

MK Council housing officials they will be put up in a hotel tonight but after that they are unlikely to receive any more help from the council.

Wayne, Savarnia and their children

"They say we're intentionally homeless. It's because we have rent arrears that happened almost two years ago, when we were in a private rented house on the Lakes Estate," said Wayne, who is 41.

The arrears amounted to more than £11,000.

"We haven't been in arrears since then. But because of them, the council says we are intentionally homeless and they can no longer house us," said Wayne.

"I don't know what we'll do or where we will go. I've looked at private rented places but nobody will take people on Universal Credit. If they do, they want somebody who earns £60,000 a year to act as guarantor for a four bedroom house. I don't even know anyone who earns that much..."

The family have been evicted from their Tinkers Bridge home

Savarnia has suffered from severe depression and anxiety for the past four years and is often bedridden with other medical problems. Wayne's full time job is caring for her and the children, but he says he is still desperate to find work.

"I can turn my hand to anything. But the fact is that I'd have to earn £37,000 to support this family and that just seems impossible. Believe me, I don't want to be on the dole - I really want to work but it's just so hard..." he said.

The couple between them have six children; Dimitri, aged four, Denzell, six, Laniya, seven, Dylan, 11, Leah, 12 and Rhianne, 15. They are at four different schools and because Wayne only has a small car, he often has to do the school run in two trips.

All the schools have supported the family and agree they should be given a permanent home, said Wayne.

"Denzell is autistic and is non-verbal. He needs constant care as he can escape from anywhere. You can't take you eyes off him," he said.

To make matters worse, Savarnia's depression has led to her having a gambling addiction.

"She plays online all the time. She keeps thinking she's going to win the money to solve all our problems but of course she never does. She needs professional help but we just don't have the time or money," said Wayne.

He said the gambling led to the £11,000 rent arrears and the subsequent eviction from the family's last permanent home, which was in Watton Court on the Lakes.

"We ended up getting evicted because the property flooded. But it was because the main toilet was a Saniflow and the pipes were not the right ones. It wasn't our fault," he claimed.

From there the family was housed by MK Council in a temporary property on the Lakes Estate but had to move on when the private landlord wanted to sell.

"We were moved by the council into Hatton last October. But in December we were given notice to quit. As I speak, the council housing people and bailiffs are outside the door. All our possessions are packed up - I've had to pay £175 in storage - and we're surrounded by bags. We don't know what's happening and where we're being sent tonight," said Wayne.

"And tomorrow - who knows? If the council still refuse to help us, we will be homeless and sleeping on the streets."

The Citizen has contacted MK Council. A spokesman said: "We’re looking into this and are currently working with the family to find the best solution.”