A retired lollipop lady who lost her home following a split from her partner told yesterday how she has been forced to live in her CAR – after being denied a council house.
Homeless Maryse Mills, 69, is living in her two-door Citroen AX hatchback after she was evicted from her three-bedroomed home.
Maryse, of Exeter, Devon, lost her home when she split up with her longterm partner and she became embroiled in a legal dispute with her mortgage lenders.
She now sleeps in her car every night in a car park near the school where she used to work as a lollipop lady.
Maryse said she cannot afford to rent privately by herself and has been denied housing by Exeter City Council because they claim she is not a ”priority case”.
She said: ”I don’t know what to do. The council seems to think I made myself homeless deliberately and cannot re-home me.
”I don’t have enough to rent privately. I have a small pension. I have nowhere to cook so all the time I have to go and buy food and drink.
”I have nowhere to go other than my car. I park in a car park but the nights are getting very cold. I really don’t know what to do. I’m not mad – I’m homeless.”
Maryse was evicted from her home three months ago after it emerged that her partner was still married to another woman.
She added: ”I was just about to marry my partner when it became clear he was still married and living in another property.
”The mortgage was transferred but everything went wrong and I am now in a dispute with the mortgage lenders.
”I was able to stay with family and friends for a while but that could not go on. It is not their problem to solve.”
A spokesman for Exeter City Council said Maryse was not a priority case as defined by the Housing Act 19996.
He said: ”Because Ms Mills has no physical or mental health problem and we have found no evidence of any health difficulties, she is not considered to be a priority.
”Therefore we do not consider that we have a duty to offer her emergency accommodation.
”Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible for emergency re-housing and we will not be in a position to offer accommodation to everyone who approaches us if we consider them to be self sufficient.”