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MS victim frustrated as he waits on rehousing by Swindon Council
A MAN who suffers with a debilitating condition has said he has been waiting more than a year to be rehomed by Swindon Council so he can live with his carer mum.
Neil Bustin, 50, has been living in his one-bedroom bungalow in Potterdown Road, Penhill, for four years, but has said he needs to live with his mother Pam Edwards as his progressive multiple sclerosis, which cannot be treated, worsens.
Pam’s daughter Sarah Stratford died seven years ago aged just 38 after suffering progressive MS, so the 70-year-old is well aware of the debilitating impact MS can have, and is desperate to live with her son so she can look after him.
But although they have been in the top bracket of the council’s housing list for 15 months, they have yet to be offered the two bedroom bungalow with wheelchair access they have requested.
The council have said they have found sheltered accommodation and a two bedroomed flat that could be suitable but say Mr Bustin cannot move in with his pet dog, who he refuses to part with.
Neil, who has spent the last week in a nursing home due to the cold conditions in his flat, said: “I’ve been in band A for 15 months now, which they put me in to get me moved but I’m still waiting.
“My condition is only going to get worse and I need my mum to live with me. I’m permanently in a wheelchair, my sister has already died from MS and I’m like an 80-year-old.
“I have asked for a two-bed bungalow but there is a shortage of those and I don’t want a two-bed flat like they’ve offered.
“I don’t think that it’s fair for them to ask me to get rid of my dog either as I’ve had him for eight years.
“I’ve been bidding for bungalows but it always seems someone else comes in and takes it – it is so frustrating that it is taking so long.”
Pam, who herself lives in a one-bedroomed flat in Penhill, said: “I’ve been sleeping in the armchair at his bungalow and recently I’ve been frozen.
“Neil had to be taken into a nursing home because the cold was affecting his MS and he kept collapsing.
“I can see him going the same way as my daughter did and I want to be able to live with him so I can care for him.”
A council spokesman said: “We have been working hard to find Mr Bustin alternative accommodation, but have so far been unable to find a suitable property.
“We will continue to work with him to find a solution to his housing needs.”