A lesbian couple claiming $35,000 a year in benefits wants a new house for their family of four children, saying they are too stressed to work because of the bullying they receive everywhere they go.
Lisa and Carrie-Ann Beaney are civil partners raising four children together in a single bedroom apartment in their community of Ashford. They’ve asked the government for a bigger house for their family since the welfare cap placed on April made them unable to afford their $1,375 month rented home.
On top of that, Lisa, 30, quit her most recent job at McDonald’s after three months because being there made her too nervous. Carrie-Ann, 23, meanwhile, has never worked.
This inability to work, the couple says, is because everywhere they go, they are bullied and harassed for their sexuality.
“It does feel like we were persecuted against because of our sexuality and I think the council needs to show us some sympathy,” Lisa told the Daily Mail. “They guaranteed us that they would be able to find us a house as soon as we were out of the private house, but we are still here.”
“We got loads of abuse in the streets and one time we got a letter through the door saying we were disgusting and didn’t deserve to have children,” she added.
Lisa said they did have the police around a few times because their car and fence were damaged, and she was assaulted once.
But former neighbors accused of bullying the Beaneys say the couple’s story of bullying is complete false.
“We didn’t even know they were lesbians for a long time,” neighbor Sheila Eagle, 69, said. “I don’t even think any of the neighbors knew them. I do not believe for a single second they received homophobic abuse.”
“The landlords came round here asking about the family because they hadn’t been paying rent or bills,” Eagle added. “But we saw them with cars full of stuff from Argos where they had been buying new things though. They wanted to be given a council house and this was a way of getting it, if you ask me.”
The Ashford Burough Council said the couple and their children have been offered a three-bedroom house, which the couple has yet to view.
Spokesperson for the council said, “We did offer the family a property through our lettings agency but they declined the offer, again on affordability.”