Shirley Gray, 68, says she would “never survive on the streets” as she and her sister face being booted out of their home within days.
The 68-year-old and her sister Carol Fowler, 59, were served Section 21 eviction notices eight weeks ago when their private landlord decided to sell their home.
The pair, who have lived in the home in Stanley, Durham, for three years, have since been desperately bidding for properties in their local area to avoid homelessness.
But despite their efforts, their requests for a new place to live keep being rejected, a struggle that has left Shirley “so distressed”.
And with their notice expiring this weekend, the sisters and their dog Ziggy are urgently searching for a solution.
Shirley told Chronicle Live: “I would be dead within three days if I ended up on the streets. I’ve got COPD so there’s no way I could live outside.
“I’m so distressed, it’s awful, I can’t cope anymore.”
Shirley, who is in Band 2 due to urgent housing needs, says she has submitted around seven bids for a new property over the last two months.
But with each request getting rejected, Shirley says she is left confused and distraught as she receives no details about why her bids are failing.
She added: “I’m putting bids in but they’re just coming back unsuccessful, but I’m not being given the reason. There’s no help.
“There’s houses I bid for weeks ago and was unsuccessful for that are still standing empty. I just don’t understand how it works.”
Shirley, who works in a local care home, has been assigned a housing officer to assist her in finding a property.
But she said potential properties are always too far from her home in Stanley, Durham, leading her to reject them as they can’t fit her needs.
As she can’t drive, the pensioner needs to live locally so she can be close to her job in a care home.
Shirley also needs to live nearby to her niece, who she has been caring for since the passing of her mum in September.
I’m so distressed, it’s awful, I can’t cope anymore – I don’t know why they’re not offering us anything close by
Shirley Gray, 68
Despite being offered several properties, she says they are all well over an hour bus ride away, and the time is now ticking to find a new home before she is left on the streets.
She said: “They’re trying to get me to move miles and miles out of the area.
“I was born here, I work here. I can’t move out of the area and I know there’s properties standing empty for weeks but they’re not renting the properties out.”
Lynn Hall, Durham County Council’s strategic manager for housing, said: “As is the case nationwide, social housing is in extremely high demand and offers are made by priority need, with length of time waiting for a property considered when deciding who is successful with their bids.
“We are closely working with Shirley and Carol and they have an housing officer allocated to help them find new long term accommodation.
“This officer is exploring all options with them, with a view to finding a suitable and affordable property as soon as possible.
“These options include looking at neighbouring villages in the interests of trying to find accommodation as quickly as possible, as widening the geographical search increases the chances of success in accessing high demand social housing.”