Grieving brothers facing eviction from family home after witnessing mum die

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Sean and Andrew Brogan say they have been served with a ‘notice to quit’, asking them to leave their home in Up Holland, in Lancashire

Andrew Brogan and his brother are facing eviction from the council house in Up Holland
Andrew Brogan and his brother are facing eviction from the council house in Up Holland

Two brothers, one of whom has Asperger’s Syndrome, are living in fear of being evicted from their council home after their mum, the tenant, died.

Sean and Andrew Brogan say they have been served with a ‘notice to quit’ asking them to leave their home in Up Holland, in Lancashire, where they have lived their whole lives.

Their mum Jacqueline, who was the only named tenant on the property, died after suffering a catastrophic heart attack at the Alma Road property on November 14.

Sean spent 45 minutes working alongside a community first responder to try and save her life, before paramedics rushed her to hospital. Once there, she was sadly pronounced dead.

Her death came around 18 months after husband Anthony lost his life to Covid-19, early in the pandemic.

Jacqueline had also suffered with long Covid and Sean, who works in IT for a legal firm, moved in to help look after both her and his brother, 31-year-old Andrew.

Andrew’s sister, Kirsty Kerrigan, said her main worry is how any move to somewhere new would affect him
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LancsLive)

However, during that time Sean says they did not get round to updating the details of the tenancy, meaning only Jacqueline was named on the agreement with the council.

After contacting the local authority in the week after her death, the brothers claim they were soon served with the ‘notice to quit’ which asked them to leave by December 26.

Although a ‘notice to quit’ does not mean that the family must leave on that date, it effectively ends their tenancy from then and means the council can begin the formal eviction process through the courts.

Andrew’s condition means he struggles in situations and environments he is not familiar with.

His brother and sisters – Sean, Kirsty Kerrigan and Ann-Marie Jones – say an alternative two-bed flat has been offered but they fear his mental and physical health will suffer dramatically if he is forced to move elsewhere.

It will also mean there is no extra bedroom for the carer who stays with the family three nights a week, to assist with the care work done by Andrew’s siblings,

One of the few tasks Andrew is able to do independently is walk the dog but they fear pets will not be allowed at a flat, while he himself would not feel safe walking alone in an unfamiliar area.

The family has been in the home for six decades, with Andrew knowing it as his only home
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Image:

LancsLive)

Speaking to LancsLive , Sean said the siblings had been unable to mentally process their mum’s death as the battle for the house was ongoing so quickly.

“We’ve not had a chance to grieve,” he said. “We’ve been fighting, speaking to all kinds of people trying to get some help. “The problem is it’s a three-bed house in a highly desirable area so they probably think they can move us out and get another family in.

“We’re in a position where we can pay the rent, we’ve always paid the rent on time.”

“The house already has a wet room because my parents were in ailing health. My brother uses that because he feels safer there.”

Sean said he finds the situation “disgusting”.

The family has been in the home for six decades, with Andrew knowing it as his only home. He attended St Thomas the Martyr CoE Primary School in Up Holland before moving to Abraham Guest High School in Wigan.

Since then, he has spent some time in college and some time volunteering at Scope in Wigan.

However, he is unable to cook or wash himself alone and is dependent on the care of Sean, his social workers and sister Kirsty, who is registered as his carer and visits every day.

Kirsty Kerrigan said her main worry is how any move to somewhere new would affect him.

She said: “It’s a fact of keeping him in his routine, in familiar surroundings.

“After mum died, because it was at home and it was so traumatic, he came to stay with me and my husband. Even though he was with people he knew, he found it difficult and he completely stopped eating.”

The family has launched a petition calling on the council to reconsider its decision and has gained the support of almost 1,000 people in a matter of days.

They are now hoping that the decision to issue the notice can be reversed.

Cllr David Whittington, who represents the Parbold ward where Ann-Marie lives, has been speaking with the family and hopes resolution is possible.

“Obviously the council has its governing succession, you can’t have a situation where a council property can be passed from one generation to the next indefinitely irrespective of the needs of the persons involved,” he said.

“We have rules and these rules are being applied to this situation. The right to remain in the property for Andrew doesn’t actually exist according to the council.

“But the council does take into account disabilities when looking at these things, particularly if adaptations have been made to the house.”

Cllr Whittington said that while David’s GP and social workers have already written to the council, he believes they will do so again in more detail and more forcefully to explain why Andrew would benefit from remaining in the house.

He also believes that although the wet room wasn’t originally installed for Andrew, this could be seen as a reason to allow them to stay.

Cllr Whittington added: “At the end of the day, we have someone who is living in a property. If you move him, it’s likely going to be a specialised property and then someone who needs that property is not going to have that option to be rehoused.

“It isn’t as simple as the fact that you gain a three-bed property because you also lose a specialist property that could be really needed.”

West Lancashire Borough Council has been approached for comment.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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