A HOMELESS woman is looking for permanent housing after being evicted for having a dog.

Sam Bashall was forced to leave her home with her beloved pooch Blakey because her landlord would not allow pets.

After spending four years without a permanent home, Sam now lives in a hostel in Worthing and said giving up her pet was “never an option.”

The Argus: Adur and Worthing Councils are aiming to house rough sleepers with their pets.Adur and Worthing Councils are aiming to house rough sleepers with their pets.

She said: “I was told I could get rid of Blakey or find him a foster carer but that was never going to happen.

“Our only choice was to live in a tent until we moved into the hostel.”

Adur and Worthing Councils have been working alongside Turning Tides, a Worthing-based homeless charity, to pilot a scheme to help thousands of homeless people secure permanent homes with their pets.

The initiative provides rough sleepers, or those in temporary accommodation, with dog training sessions to show landlords they are responsible owners with well-trained pets.

Most tenancy agreements include a “no pet” clause, making it difficult for many people to find new homes.

A new Bill currently being heard in Parliament seeks to end the “no pet” clause and make it easier for private and social renters to have pets.

Dr Heather Mercer, executive Member for customer service in Worthing, said: “Homelessness is not just a housing problem. There are many reasons why a person may find themselves living on the streets and in need of help.

“It can be a series of events, including job loss, the break-up of a relationship or domestic abuse.

“In Sam’s case she struggled to find accommodation simply because she has a dog.”

Cllr Kevin Boram, executive member for health and Wellbeing in Adur, said despite the coronavirus pandemic the council is continuing to run services that support the homeless.

He said: “This time last year, before the Covid-19 pandemic reached UK shores, none of us could have imagined how our lives would change.

“And here we are, as we begin a new year, in the grip of yet another national lockdown. Thankfully we are much better prepared this time.

“With established support networks in place we’ve been able to adapt our services to respond to the needs of our communities over the coming months.”