A veteran who served his country for over two decades faces homelessness unless he finds a house suitable for his severely disabled son soon.

Michael Johnson, 44, has been fruitlessly searching for a property for several years.

The dad-of-two left the Army in November after a 24-year career.

But now the Totton native, his wife Suzanna and children Isabelle, eight, and Oliver, 11, face homelessness.

Daily Echo: Michael with his wife Suzanna and children Isabelle and OliverMichael with his wife Suzanna and children Isabelle and Oliver (Image: Michael Johnson)

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The former vehicle engineer said: “At the age of three Oliver contracted a virus which made him wheelchair bound.

“He is unable to walk and talk.

“We currently live in Army accommodation in Oxfordshire but once you are out of the forces, you lose your entitlement to the house.

“I started looking for a new home in 2021 when I applied to Hampshire Homeschoice, but the backlog meant I kept getting pushed back.”

Michael is keen to return to the Southampton area to be closer to family.

He has applied to both Eastleigh Borough Council and New Forest District Council (NFDC) for housing – with no success.

“I need a house that is suitable for Oliver’s needs, but councils are not building adaptable houses”, he added.

Moving into a home then constructing the necessary adaptations for Oliver is not an option for Michael and his family.

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Michael said: “It’s not safe for him if we were to move into a house then pay for all the work to be done.

“We would be living in a building site.

“Councils have been given money to build houses for refugees, and it’s nice to help those people, but they are letting down people who have served their country.

“There is no way people in my position should be struggling to get a house.

“Councils are not willing to put the money into adaptive houses.

“All we want is housing that is safe, sustainable, and future proof.”

Daily Echo: Michael Johnson is struggling to find a home suitable for his disabled son after serving in the army Michael Johnson is struggling to find a home suitable for his disabled son after serving in the army (Image: Michael Johnson)

Eastleigh Borough Council confirmed a house was offered to Michael, but was denied.

A spokesperson said: “When Mr Johnson presented to us as homeless, we offered the family an adapted property that met their immediate needs and bedroom entitlement.

“This was the most suitable accommodation that we had available. However, they did not feel that this was adequate.

“The family remain on the homeless register and have the highest level of priority across all five Hampshire Homechoice areas.”

According to NFDC, £950,000 is invested in delivering new disabled adaptations in its own social housing stock.

The council went on to say that a further £1.3 million of government funding delivers new disabled adaptations in private housing sector, including homes provided by other social housing providers within the council district.