Mum left homeless blames second home owners

Full time working mum Trudy Lincoln can’t afford the soaring rental prices which have been pushed up by holiday homes

Becky Dickinson www.devonlive.com 

A single mum and her four children have been left homeless after being evicted from their home in Hartland, North Devon, this week. Trudy Lincoln and her family are now ‘sofa surfing’ and Trudy says second home owners and Airbnbs are to blame.

The family, who had lived in the same property for eight years, were forced to leave after the landlord decided to sell. Trudy says she asked her landlord if they could remain in the house until it was sold, to give them more time to find somewhere else, but he refused.

She told DevonLive: “He says he wants to sell it but it wouldn’t surprise me if he wanted to Airbnb it. People are advertising Airbnb for over a £1,000 per week in North Devon.”

Despite working full-time in middle management, Trudy says she can’t afford the high rental prices in the area, which have been pushed up by second homes and Airbnbs. And she says many estate agents wouldn’t even let her have a viewing because she has four children and three dogs (who have been in the family for years.)

Trudy said: “I have applied for 45 houses since October and I’ve not been able to get one viewing. I’m now in a position where I don’t know what else I can do.”

The family are currently staying with a friend, but need to move out after tomorrow. All their possessions are being put into storage. On top of that, Trudy is trying to cope with juggling work and school runs.

“I’m having to manage it all as well as working full time and trying not to not disrupt the children’s schooling. I’m also having to sort out school transport as their school route changes, I am waiting to hear back from these as to what happens,” she said.

Unsurprisingly, she said the situation is taking its toll on family life. “We are all really struggling and tension is high between us all. Two of the children have been really upset all weekend,” she said.

Trudy said the council offered the family a room in a hostel with a shared bathroom, but she didn’t feel this would be a suitable option. “As I work full time, the children would be home alone for a while till I got home and I really wouldn’t feel safe knowing that they would be in a place with other people they don’t know.” On top of this, the family would have been forced to give up their beloved dogs.

Trudy added: “To all Airbnb and second home owners I would like to say thank you, thank you for making a housing crisis worse than it already is and thank you for putting pressure on families who are struggling to put a roof over their heads through no fault of their own.”

Despite working full time, Trudy said she felt like she was letting her children down by not being able to provide a roof over their heads. For now, the family are relying on the goodwill of friends and will continue ‘sofa surfing’ while they carry on the desperate search for a place of their own.