AN ARTIST on the verge of becoming homeless claims the authorities ‘have done nothing’ to help him.

Richard Fern was provided with his private rental property in Raglan Street six years ago by Worcester Housing and Benefits Advice Centre (WHABAC), which specialises in helping those at risk of becoming homeless.

In September his landlord told him she was selling the property and he’d have to move out, so he went to Worcester City Council for help but claims he was told that he is now classed as “low risk” and to “come back in 28 days”, as per its policy.

“I’m registered as homeless but I’ve literally had no help for nine weeks,” he said. “I’m doing everything, I’m the one calling the estate agents.”

Mr Fern, 45, a full-time artist said the council, WHABAC and various other organisations for helping those at risk of becoming homeless, “are literally doing nothing for me”.

“It’s not a case of they haven’t found me anything, it’s a case of they haven’t done anything, especially WHABAC.

“When I got the property six years ago through them, they had a list of over two dozen landlords, now they’re telling me they haven’t got anything,” he added.

Mr Fern, who has lived in Worcester for more than 20 years, said he has also signed up for Home Choice Plus (HCP), a council-run scheme used to allocate Housing Association properties.

“HCP is an online system where you bid for properties,” he said. “You’re only allowed to bid for three properties per week and it starts on a Tuesday.

“So, every Tuesday morning, seven o’clock, I’m online. I’m the first to bid for certain properties, so I’m top of the list. A couple of hours later I’m tenth.”

He said: “All of the estate agents in Worcester do not have landlords who accept people on benefits on their books, and this is from having been asking them for the last nine weeks.”

Mr Fern said his eviction date has already passed but his landlady, who has decided to sell the property, “has granted me another two weeks” – before he will be facing the prospect of sleeping rough.

A spokesman for the city council said: “WCC’s housing team always offer advice and assistance to people at risk of becoming homeless, from the moment they contact us.

“We work alongside housing partners to help them find new accommodation either in a housing association property or in the private rented sector.

“The demand for all types of properties in Worcester is greater than the number of homes available; however, we are working hard to try to increase the number of suitable properties in the city.

“If someone does reach the point of becoming homeless they will be referred to our homelessness service provider, CCP, and placed in temporary accommodation until more permanent housing can be found.”

The spokesman added that WCC could not discuss individual cases, however.

WHABAC has been contacted for comment.