Anguish at lack of social housing for people with pets

'People shouldn't have to choose between a house and their animals' SUS-190417-161031001
'People shouldn't have to choose between a house and their animals' SUS-190417-161031001

A call for more social housing to be made available for people with pets has gone out from a campaigning Southwater woman.

Barbara Munford made the plea after learning of the plight of a friend who was left distraught when he lost the tenancy of a property in Southwater at the last minute.

He was about to move in, said Barbara, when a housing association told him he could not because he had two dogs.

Barbara has now written to a number of Horsham district councillors urging them to address the problem of a lack of social housing for pet owners in the area.

“My friend was absolutely devastated,” she said. “He was crying.” She said he was currently living in private rented accommodation “where he could have the plug pulled at any time” and had been on the council housing waiting list for five years.

She said many vulnerable people in the Horsham area were in a similar position. “To put someone in a position where they have to choose between a house or their animals is really dreadful,” said Barbara.

And she added: “Animals play a huge part in people’s wellbeing and mental health. Do these organisations have any idea what havoc they create with people’s wellbeing and mental health when they put them through this sort of stress and trauma? All these vulnerable people are looking for and need, is long term stability.”