Heartwarming moment schoolgirl, 16, is told she and her sister, 23, WON’T lose their family home after facing eviction because the tenancy ended when their mum died of Covid
- Mother-of-five Kyra King died aged 48, just weeks after contracting coronavirus
- Her daughter Courtney Johnson legally became guardian of her sister Milly, 16
- They were told they couldn’t take over tenancy of family home in Staffordshire
- But the housing association has now reversed the decision following a petition
Video has captured the heartwarming moment a 16-year-old girl is told she can stay in her family home after facing eviction when her mother died of Covid.
Mother-of-five Kyra King died aged 48 last month after contracting coronavirus, leaving her daughter Courtney Johnson, 23, to take legal responsibility for her 16-year-old sister Milly.
Ms King had rented a four-bedroom property in Cannock, Staffordshire, for 15 years but the tenancy ended when she died.
But mother-of-one Courtney was told she could not take over the tenancy, meaning Milly was forced to sleep on the sofa at her home, which she shares with her three-year-old, her partner and his two children.
Now, following an impassioned appeal and petition which was signed by more than 25,000 people, Sanctuary Housing has reversed the decision and allowed the sisters to live in their mother’s home.
Courtney Johnson, pictured left, is to legally become the guardian of her sister Milly, following the death of their mother, Kyra King, pictured right
Video captured the emotional moment 16-year-old Milly was told she could remain in her family home, with her big sister
Courtney told her little sister Milly that the housing association had made a u-turn, and captured her emotional reaction on camera.
Courtney said: ‘We got the house! I just can’t believe it. We’re over the moon, Milly can’t stop crying.
‘[Sanctuary Housing] said that it was the law that they couldn’t give us it and that they’d just been doing their jobs but they’d looked again and the decision had come back quicker than they expected.
‘It just means so much to us.’
Support worker Courtney added: ‘It means everything to me and Milly to live in my mum’s house. This is our family home, where our memories are.
‘The house that I’m currently renting, it’s a brand new house and I love it. But I don’t care about all that. It’s the memories and my sister’s welfare that means more to me.’
Mother-of-five Kyra fell ill with Covid over Christmas and was bedbound from New Year’s Day. She was later rushed to hospital after suffering with breathing difficulties.
She was eventually placed in a coma but died on February 2 after developing pneumonia.
Courtney added: ‘The day she passed away I had all my siblings with me and we were just setting up a Zoom meeting because even though my mum was in a coma, they said that she could hear us.
‘Within 20 minutes we had a phone call to say ‘any minute now she’s going to have a heart attack and her brain’s going to shut down’.
‘So we had to go to the hospital and turn the machine off.’
Courtney, who is herself a mother of one, had been told she could not take over the tenancy of the long-term family home in Staffordshire
The family appealed to Sanctuary Housing to reverse the decision and garnered 26,000 signatures on an online petition
Kyra also left behind son Jordan, 27, a 10-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son, who are now living with their father, who is also Milly’s father.
Courtney said: ‘It was my mum’s wish that Milly live with me, she wanted to stay with me and that’s the agreement I have with her dad, who lives nearby and is very supportive.’
A spokesperson for Sanctuary Housing told Birmingham Live: ‘We understand how deeply upsetting recent events have been for the family. Given the exceptional and highly complex circumstances, we have taken a compassionate view of this matter and used our discretion to offer Miss Johnson the opportunity to take on the tenancy.
‘In reaching our decision, we have taken account of stakeholder views and given careful regard to the 16-year-old sibling who wants to remain in the home where she has lived for almost all her life. We will now work with Miss Johnson to ensure her family can move into this property as soon as possible.’
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