A PENSIONER is facing being evicted from his home of 74 years after he was told he could not continue the lease following the death of his sister.
An emotional Edward Meakins claims it would kill him to move out of what has been his family home in Cloister Road, Cricklewood, since he was a boy.
The 83-year-old has been told by Barnet Homes that he will not be allowed to carry on living alone in the three-bedroom house, and has instead been offered a flat in a sheltered housing unit.
But bachelor Mr Meakins said: “I moved here when I was nine, which was 74 years ago, and I don't think it is fair that after I have lived here for that long I should go and live in a flat.
“This has been my life in this house since I was nine. Why do they want to turn me out? I don't suppose I have got many more years to go, so why can't they just leave me here until I die?”
Mr Meakin moved into the house with his mother, father and four siblings in 1936, and remained there with his sister Margaret until she died in May.
And following her death, Mr Meakins had signed a temporary contract taking on the rights and responsibilities of the former tenant.
But he has been informed by staff at the management organisation that it will run out after six months and he will have to accept or find alternative accommodation.
Mr Meakins, a window cleaner for 25 years, said: “I don't want a flat. I don't like the idea of it at all. It's very important for me that I stay here.
“I have been very worried about it. I wouldn't last long in a flat, it would kill me.
“I have got my garden and all my life here, so why do they want to take it all away from me?”
His niece, Rita, has been helping him with organising the paperwork, but said he is still able to look after himself and loved spending time in his garden.
She said: “He is very happy where he is. I just can't understand why they want him to move. They should show some compassion.
“In a few years time he may be ready to move anyway, but not yet.”
A statement from Barnet Homes said: “We sympathise with Mr Meakins’ position, and we appreciate that the prospect of leaving the family home after so many years must be very difficult for him.
“However, Mr Meakins is living in a three-bedroom council house, which are in very short supply in Barnet.
“We have to balance our sympathy for his position against the needs of the large number of people on the borough’s housing register who are desperate for a good quality family home.
“We will continue to offer Mr Meakins all the support we can in finding suitable alternative accommodation.”