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Presbyterian Church of Wales evicting 85-year-old grandmother 'out of the blue'

by Sophie Drew
Ann Allsop.png - Banner image
Family photo

An 85-year-old grandmother says she's facing eviction after the Presbyterian Church of Wales made a U-turn on promises she could remain in her home until death. 

Ann Allsop, who has rented the property from the Saundersfoot church since 1995, has been left 'in tears' by the potential move. 

She was asked to leave the property by 21st July 2022, but is hanging on until she is forced to move. 

Speaking on Radio Wales Breakfast, Ann's son, Stephen Allsop, said: "It's incredibly upsetting. We've had a lot of tears, she doesn't know what's going to happen. She's very strong and now she's angry, very angry. I've never seen her like this before."

He continued: "The way they went about it was strange. My wife had a message to ring a number at 8 o'clock on a Friday night and she was told her mother-in-law was being evicted. 

"They were giving her six months but a couple of days later that became two months."

Ann Allsop is facing a 'no fault' eviction; her son said it came "completely out of the blue." 

Pembrokeshire County Council are encouraging her to stay put until they can find her a new property, she claims. 

Long-term lets in the Pembrokeshire spot are increasingly difficult to come by; the market is saturated with people looking for second homes to lease out to tourists. 

To add further distress, the grandmother finds it difficult to navigate stairs, limiting the already sparse number of properties available to her. 

The Presbyterian Church of Wales responded to the claims, saying: "We are concerned that the current housing situation in Wales is in crisis and as a responsible landlord we seek to look after our tenants where we can. 

"In this particular situation, unfortunately, the church needed to sell the two houses and notice was served in accordance with the law. 

"On a wider note, there have been occasions where we have sold properties to housing associations to provide affordable homes and we are committed to working with other agencies to secure fair housing in Wales." 

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: "We are committed to taking immediate and radical action using the planning, property and taxation systems to tackle the injustices in the current housing market, including the negative impact that second homes and unaffordable housing can have.

"We are putting in place a joined-up package of proposals to tackle the various problems this presents.

"We have already confirmed an increase to the council tax premiums councils can charge on second homes to 300 percent and have introduced new tax rules for holiday lets.

"We have also concluded a major consultation on proposed changes to the planning system which would give local authorities more control in managing numbers of second homes."

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