A DEVOTED son faces being homeless when his sick mother dies because of proposed changes to council tenancies.

Ben Lomax lives with his mother Edna Machin in a two-bedroom flat in St James’s Place, Kemp Town, Brighton.

Ms Machin suffered a heart attack in 2010 and had a triple-heart bypass operation which kept her in hospital for a year.

Mr Lomax and his wife Cheryl have been full-time carers since the operation which left Ms Machin wheelchair-bound.

He has now received a letter saying he would not be entitled to his mother’s tenancy if she dies because her agreement began after April 1 2012.

The updated Housing and Planning Act 2016 is expected to come into force in October.

When a tenant dies the new Act will say that if the current care agreement began before April 1, 2012 it may be passed over to a family member.

But if it began after that date, it can only be passed on to the tenant’s spouse or civil partner.

Mr Lomax, 50, said: “It is scary enough knowing that my mother could die at any point due to her poor health, let alone the fact that if she does we could be out on the streets.”

They have lived in the flat since April 2014.

Originally from Manchester, Mr Lomax moved to Brighton seven years ago after his mother’s near-death scare.

Since he found out the news, Mr Lomax has suffered a deterioration in his own health.

He said: “I am struggling to sleep at night because I can’t get this off my mind since I found out.

“I constantly feel on edge and I can never relax.”

Despite her own poor health, 78-year-old Ms Machin is worried about her son.

She said: “I’m more worried about Ben.

“There have been changes in him since he found out – he just hasn’t been himself.

“It’s their home as much as it is mine. They’ve helped me so much and I don’t want them to lose their home when I die.”

A spokesman for the city council said: “The council has a discretionary succession policy which looks at individual circumstances where people are left in occupation following the death of a tenant.

“It would not be appropriate for us to comment further pending such time as their future circumstances may be considered.”