A couple with four daughters have pleaded to Reading council to reverse course over an upcoming decision to evict them and 100 other families. 

The Perry-Lee family have lived in Kingsway, Caversham since 2018 after moving to the area for work.

They live there with their four daughters aged 9, 8, 6 and 3, and currently rent their semi-detached home from the council’s market housing company Home for Reading.

But now they face eviction as the borough council’s Labour administration is seeking to wind up the company and take possession of the homes into the council’s housing stock.

Rowan Perry-Lee, 31, said: “They’re saying we can stay until the tenancy runs out in August 2025.

“But when we arrived here we were promised security. We were previously evicted as a revenge eviction. 

“It’s very disheartening that we have been given all promises to say that the council plans to take the home away from us.

“The letter says the preferred option is to reclaim and reallocate the homes to key workers.

“But myself and my husband are both key workers, my husband is a teacher employed by Reading Borough Council.”

Mrs Perry-Lee works in a pre-school and her husband Raven Lee, aged 33, is a teacher.

Reading Chronicle: The Perry-Lee family who rent a Homes for Reading house. Credit: Rowan Perry-LeeThe Perry-Lee family who rent a Homes for Reading house. Credit: Rowan Perry-Lee

Attacking the council’s justification for winding Homes for Reading up, she said: “They need them [the homes] to be vacant to be taken into their housing stock.

“But then they are obligated to find us a suitable property.

“If it was as easy as what they are saying it will be, the key workers that are on their housing register would already have homes!

“It’s just been so backwards to evict tenants who can’t afford to move.

“We would end up on the council housing list anyway.

“A lot of the tenants are key workers anyway so it won’t be fixing anything.”

READ MORE: Changes to Reading housing company leads to eviction fears 

The council’s intentions to wind up Homes for Reading was announced last month.

Mr Lee has launched a petition on Change.org calling for the council to continue to operate the company as usual.

So far 694 people have signed the petition. 

The council has written to the 101 households affected presenting its three options:

  • Option 1 – Homes for Reading is retained
  • Option 2 -the council buys the properties through its Housing Revenue Account
  • Option 3 – The council buys some properties specifically to be provided as key worker homes and sells others on the open market

Justifying the council’s preferred option to evict Homes for Reading tenants and absorb the homes into its housing stock, Ellie Emberson (Labour, Coley), lead councillor for housing argued claiming the properties would provide much needed affordable homes for key workers.

Homes for Reading was launched in 2016, with the council-owned company buying properties and letting them out at market rates.

The council stopped purchasing properties for the scheme in 2019.