A “broken man” who quit his job to care of his ailing mother has been told he now has to leave their home of 38 years as she’s no longer alive.
Alan O’Mahoney, 48, first moved into the four-bed home in North Kensington in 1983, and had been sharing it with his mother, for whom he had become the sole carer as she struggled with Alzheimer’s.
But after she sadly died last year, the council is now wanting him to downsize to a smaller property.
While Alan recognises his home is too big for one person alone, he is calling to be relocated to another flat within the same area as he has built a “support network” on which he relies on.
But he said the council was unable to tell him with certainty that he could stay in the west London borough and he now fears being moved anywhere in the country, MyLondon reports.
Alan had worked for the council himself for 24 years, but was forced to give up his job around 2014 to care for his sick mother.
Since her death, Alan has struggled with his mental health, and relies heavily on the support network of his local friends and family.
“After seven years of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s it has an effect on you, physically and mentally. I’m exhausted and burnt out,” he said.
“I suffer terrible depression and panic attacks, and have mobility and health issues of my own.
“I’m broken, I’m tired, I’m burnt out.”
For Alan the move out of his house will have a great impact on his mental health, and with the added risk of possibly moving far away, he is extremely worried.
He said: “I understand that the council wants a four bedroom house, and my moral conscience knows that I shouldn’t live here, but at the moment I am extremely fragile.
“It’s a huge thing to pack up a life’s worth the year after my mother died and be told I can’t live here.
“I’ve said to them I will relocate on this estate. I’m fighting to stay on this estate. My support network is here.”
Alan’s friend and neighbour, Maria, who he described as “wonderful and caring”, started a petition to ask the council to ensure Alan is able to remain in the area.
The petition has already gained over 80,000 signatures, as the local community rallies around the long-term resident.
Alan believes he could be sent anywhere in the country.
However, the council denies that this has been suggested as a possibility.
“All I was told is you can’t live here and there’s no guarantee you will live in the borough,” he explained.
“If I think about it too much it makes me ill.”
He went on: “I don’t own this house, and it’s morally wrong for me to stay in a four bedroom house by myself.
“I’m not advocating that I should live the rest of my days here.
“But I’ve lost everything else, what more can I lose? What is left for me?”
Alan has a “huge amount of emotional attachment to the house” but says the only way he can rebuild his life after moving is by staying on the estate.
“My whole support network is here, and if that means I’m selfish, well then all I can say is that for once in my life I’ll be selfish.”
A council spokesman said: “We place great value in the strength and diversity of our communities, which are among our borough’s greatest assets.
“We appreciate the connections our residents have to specific parts of Kensington and Chelsea and take those links into account when working with them to find a safe, healthy home.
“The demand for social housing in the borough far outstrips supply and there is a particularly pressing need for larger homes.
“Between March 2019 and April 2020, we had more than 3,200 people on our waiting list and only 457 properties available to let and that is why we are taking steps to increase supply such as building 600 new Council-owned homes and tackling the number of empty properties.”