Battersea father 'over the moon' after winning fight to keep home

Barry Walters with granchildren with Destiny and Rain

Barry Walters with granchildren with Destiny and Rain

First published in News Wandsworth Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A family man threatened with homelessness, is celebrating after winning a fight to keep his house.

Barry Walters, who lives with his son and two grandchildren, carried out a mutual exchange with his brother last year.

The process allows social housing tenants to move home by swapping properties.

Mr Walters and his brother Darren Norris chose to switch on January 13  because Barry needed more space.

They had been told that morning that the move was fine to go ahead.

But later in the evening, after the brother's had finished relocating, they received a call saying the exchange was no longer allowed.

Mr Norris had moved into the old flat in Fairchild Close, Battersea, with their other brother Trevor Walters who suffers with cerebral palsy.

Because Trevor spends most of his time in residential care, Mr Norris was told he would be under-occupying the flat and was threatened with eviction.

In turn Mr Walters, 46, was told he could no longer stay in his Cobham Close flat, previously owned by his mother, because the mutual exchange was invalid.

Wandsworth Guardian:

Mr Walters said: "Once they start eviction proceedings there’s nothing you can do about it.

"I decided I was never going to give up, it’s my mother’s house and my family live here.

"My grandkids go to school in Battersea and I didn’t want them to have to move."

On Thursday March 27 he was told the decision had been reversed.

A spokesman from Viridian Housing said: "Mr Walters applied for a mutual exchange which we initially declined.

"Subsequently he appealed and we reviewed the case.

"We found that we had made an administrative error and therefore allowed the exchange to go ahead.

"We have also apologised to Mr Walters."

Barry said: "When they told me I could stay I was over the moon.

"It has bettered the lives of all my family.


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