Ida Brewster was the typical valleys matriarch of her family.
A mother of five grown-up children and a grandmother of 13, everyone was welcome at her home.
The 66-year-old health care assistant passed away on September 2 this year and the shock felt by the family was palpable.
Daughter Kathryn Tyler said: “Mam was the glue that stuck everybody together.”
Ida had lived in the same council house in Pen y Dre, Rhymney, for the last 37 years. It is the family home that holds many memories for her children and grandchildren.
These memories are now under threat because of Ida’s sudden death and bureaucratic red tape.
Before her death, Ida had tried to arrange a house swap with her daughter, but because she was giving up a three-bedroom home, the family were told she could only move into a one-bedroom property.
However, none were available at the time.
In light of their mother’s death, the family is proposing that Kathryn give up her newly renovated three-bedroom council house, which can then go to someone on the housing list.
Kathryn, and her three children, can then move into the family home without any further need for the council to do refurbishment work.
As it stands, if Ida’s home goes back to the council, workers will tear apart 30-plus years of memories and needlessly spend thousands of pounds.
It is a common sense solution which will save council taxpayers money.
Caerphilly Observer has also made this argument to the council.
Kathryn’s brother Delwyn said: “It is a no-brainer. Kathryn wants to move back to the family home where she grew up.”
Kathryn added: “I am willing to accept the house the way it is. I want to keep it the way it is – if the council change it, then it’s won’t be the same house.”
Their local councillor, Carl Cuss, said: “I have made representations on behalf of the family and I know this must be a stressful time for them and my condolences go out to them.
“Unfortunately, I was told by the council that this would fall outside of the Common Allocations Policy. I have been working with the family to ensure Ms Tyler’s application is active and ready for offers and I will continue to make strong representations when the property can be shortlisted.”
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Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney’s Member of Parliament, Gerald Jones, and Senedd Member Dawn Bowden have also been made aware of the case.
A spokeswoman for Caerphilly County Borough Council said: “The selection of households for a property is determined by our Common Allocations Policy, with allocations of social housing being determined by location and type of housing required, and also the priority need of the applicant.
“Applicants are placed into one of three bands depending on an assessment of their circumstances and those assessed with the greatest need are afforded the highest priority.
“In this case, there would be no legal entitlement of the family to the property in question and such an allocation would be in breach of the Common Allocations Policy.
“Advice has been given to the family that keys will need to be returned for the property and should they have an active application on the Common Housing Register, subject to a satisfactory transfer inspection, at the time the property is shortlisted then they will be considered in line with the Common Allocations Policy.”
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