Cartoonist in rent arrears draws on his talent to ward off eviction threat

By Rosa Doherty, December 20, 2013
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A 63-year-old man who lives in sheltered housing has found a novel way to save himself from eviction.

Brian Davis is being forced to leave his flat in East Finchley, north London, after falling into £2,000 rent arrears.

His landlord is the Westlon Housing Association, which offers sheltered housing to single people or couples aged over 55 who are from the Jewish community.

But Mr Davis, who is a writer and cartoonist, has managed to raise £900 of what he owes, by selling a book of his cartoons called Angel Delights.

He hopes to raise the full amount, before a final decision on his eviction is made on January 6, by selling the book of drawings at local stalls and at his synagogue, the New North London.

He said: “I am so scared. I could be kicked out of my house, but I had to do something to try and stop it.

“I decided to make the book and sell my cartoons, in the hope it makes a difference and it has. I’m nearly there.”

Mr Davis, said he had every intention of catching up with his payments but, “Westlon don’t seem to care. Once you fall two months behind, that seems to be it, you’re out, with no negotiation.

“I recently got divorced and had to sell my house — that is how I ended up in sheltered housing.

“I work freelance, and don’t always get paid regularly, I’ve just fallen behind — it happens.”

Mr Davis’s rabbi, Jonathan Wittenberg, has offered to help him, by talking to the housing association on his behalf. Rabbi Wittenberg said: “Brian is a very special person and I’m glad to do my best to help him.”

Mr Davis has been overwhelmed by the support from members of his community.

Carol Santaub, who is also a member of the New North London, has bought several copies of the book. She said: “He could be kicked out just because he fell behind. The housing association should be helping him, not throwing him out.

“We want to help him. The books are great as presents, and there are some lovely positive messages that he has written to accompany the drawings. “Brian is so talented and it is terrible this has happened to him”.

The housing association declined to comment.

Last updated: 11:45am, December 20 2013