DESPERATE families have been given two months to find new homes after their housing association warned they will be selling off the properties.

Swan Housing, which manages homes in Tiberius Close and Petronius Way, Colchester, contacted residents last week.

They hope to sell the homes, about 14 in total, by the end of December.

The residents, who privately rent their homes, will receive a Section 21 notice asking them to leave within two months.

Aaron Mcpherson, of Tiberius Close, received his Section 21 letter in the post.

He said: “I have been renting for four and a half years and have paid £875 a month.

"I have never missed a payment. I have got no money for a deposit for another house, we will just have to stay there until they come for us.

“I think it’s disgraceful, I was in shock and called Swan Housing but they just said it was something they needed to do.”

Taxi driver Aaron lives with his wife Aiste, a pharmacist, and their two sons Mason, five, and Lewis, two. Mason goes to Brinkley Grove School, another reason why the family is reluctant to leave.

Mr Mcpherson added: “I am going to have to make myself homeless.

I just want them to acknowledge we are human beings.”

The tenants were not given a reason why the houses are being sold. But Siobhan Boseley-Yemm, of Petronius Way, said it has been talked of before.

She said: “They told us some time ago they had been trying to sell the houses as a block to another association, but there hadn’t been any interest.

“Before Christmas we were told there was no intention to sell.

Then on Thursday I got an email saying we were to receive a Section 21 notice.

“I don’t suppose Swan Housing is doing anything wrong, but morally they are kicking out families with nowhere to go.”

Sons Ben, five, and Max, three, are also at the local schools. Her husband Bruce is disabled and needs downstairs facilities, making it harder for them to find housing.

An email from Hera Management Services, the letting agent, to Mrs Boseley-Yemm, added: “Should you wish to end your tenancy earlier than the date stated on your notice we would be happy to allow this provided you give us one month’s written notice in accordance with your tenancy agreement.

“We will be in touch to arrange and end of tenancy inspection. At this appointment we will be able to discuss arrangements for the end date of the tenancy and the return of any deposit funds.”

A HOUSING association said it will support tenants when their homes are sold.

Swan Housing said it is selling homes in Tiberius Close and Petronius Way as it “continuously reviews its housing stock to assess where best to place our resources”.

Swan said it will not be terminating all 14 affected tenancies at once. They said: “This is being managed on a phased approach throughout the year, which will allow some tenants to remain in the properties a little longer with time to make alternative arrangements over the coming months.”

They said some residents have already shown interested in buying their homes, although other residents said they were not aware of this option. They added: “The tenants affected are not social housing tenants. Each tenant is on a fixed term arrangement known an ‘Assured Short Hold Tenancy’.

“As with any private landlord arrangement, there is no requirement to find tenants alternative accommodation.

“However, due to Swan’s extensive work in communities, our teams will work with each tenant to discuss their individual circumstances and requirements.”

Any resident wishing buy their home should contact 0345 683 8812.