We are scared our family of 13 will be torn apart as the council plans on kicking us out of our 8-bedroom home
A FAMILY-of-13 claim they face being split up after the coucil kicked them out of their home.
Clifford Westfall, Clair Patterson, their nine children and Clifford and Claire's siblings, have been told they must vacate their eight-bedroom house by January 26.
They were slapped with the eviction notice by Bradford Council after a purchase notice was placed on the property in Keighley, West Yorks, when an extension by the landlord meant the home was too tall, and exceeded agreed planning dimensions.
The couple, who pay £1,000 per month in rent on the property, now fear their big family could be torn apart and forced to live in separate homes.
Clifford, 37, also claims it was suggested his brood could be moved into a hostel.
The dad told Yorkshire Live: "There is nothing on the market for a family of our size.
"We’re not trying to be money-grabbers.
"We’re completely willing to pay our way. We pay £1,000 a month in rent. We pay £378 a month council tax, we pay all the bills on our house.
"We don’t want a big house and for it to be cheap. We will pay. We just want to be together."
And Clair said the family are desperate to stay in the area because it's where all their children, the youngest aged just two and the oldest 19-years-old, go to school.
She said: "If we lived elsewhere, it would be physically impossible for me to get seven kids to four different schools and then get to work. It just wouldn't happen."
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The couple – who have one child together, and custody for their eight children from previous relationships – have urged the council to reconsider, push back the deadline or even knock through two properties to make space for them to live together.
They even said they would be happy to move into a smaller, five or four-bedroom home, but aren't allowed as it would be overcrowded.
Local councillor Mohsin Hussain has joined the couple's fight, urging the council to push back the deadline until a suitable home for all of them can be found.
He said: "It is very difficult to find another property of this size, but I have said to the council that we need to find another property for Clifford and his family to move into – or to extend the deadline.
"The council is not in the wrong on this, but there needs to be support from the council and from the housing associations for Clifford and his family."
But the family are at a loss to find anywhere else to live and spent Christmas with their eviction looming.
A council spokesperson said bosses were even looking into "providing two accommodation units adjacent or in close proximity to each other".
And Clifford claims it was even suggested his family could be moved into a hostel.
He said: "If we had to leave Keighley we’d do it. But a hostel? It just can’t happen. It wouldn’t work."
A spokesperson for Bradford Council said: "With regard to rehousing Mr Westfall and his family, Mr Westfall and his family have been assessed by the Local Authority’s Housing Options Service in accordance with the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.
"The Housing Options Officer is currently exploring suitable rehousing options in the private and social housing sectors. This also includes providing two accommodation units adjacent or in close proximity to each other.
"Should Mr Westfall become homeless before the eviction deadline, the Local Authority will have a statutory duty to offer temporary accommodation with one of our commissioned providers.
"The temporary accommodation offer, if needed, will be in the same location. The Local Authority will continue to support Mr Westfall and his family during this rehousing process.
"The council is currently in the process of preparing legal documentation to extend the current deadline of January 26, 2022 to allow additional time to source suitable housing options for Mr Westfall and his family. He will be in receipt of this documentation within the next seven days."
Clair and Clifford also claimed they pay their rent to Jigsaw Property Services, but a spokesperson for the company told Yorkshire Live they didn’t let the property out anymore.
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