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Family searching for shelter after eviction

Sad departure: Leasser Swan packs up her belongings as her family is evicted from their home of 26 years (Photograph by Jonathan Bell)

A family was last night in a desperate hunt for a new house after they were evicted from their home of 26 years.

Leasser and Stanley Swan were ordered to quit the house by 8pm last night after they fell behind with the rent to owners the Bermuda Housing Corporation.

Ms Swan, known as “Aunt Lisa” in the area, said it was a huge blow to the family of four, as well as the neighbourhood, where she helped out neighbours and fed homeless people.

She added: “We are in arrears for rent, through my medical issues and work being slow. I am blind in one eye and I have high blood pressure.”

The family owe about $12,000 in back rent on the two-bedroom home, which they share with their son and daughter.

Ms Swan said she had been taken to Magistrates’ Court around April and had proposed a payment plan.

She added that when she returned to court later, she appeared before a different magistrate who “didn’t want to hear it”.

She was speaking as the family packed up the last of their belongings at about 5pm last night.

Ms Swan said they had yet to find a new home but would probably stay for the night with relatives.

She added: “I have given a lot to the community here and we have put a lot into this house over the time we’ve lived here. We didn’t have a fair deal.”

She claimed that a water bill and land tax had been added to their rental arrears to make “one big bill” which the family was unable to pay.

Michael Weeks, the Minister of Social Development and Sports, visited the family as they packed up.

Mr Weeks said he was there as a family friend and not in an official capacity.