Windrush child refuses Home Office £100,000 compensation offer and vows to fight on
A Windrush child has refused a £100,000 Home Office compensation offer because he said it does not take into account the fact that he could not get a mortgage to buy his own home.
Lorenzo Hoyte, 64, has been offered the sum as compensation for 'impact on life' but said his claim for 'financial loss' has been turned down despite the fact he was refused a mortgage in 2005.
Lorenzo could not get a mortgage to buy the Wakefield District Housing owned house he lives in under the right to buy scheme because he did not have a British passport.
Lorenzo said the house is now worth up to £160,000 and he has been denied the right to pay a mortgage and eventually own it.
He said: "I have paid more in rent than what they have offered me."
Lorenzo, of Wrenthorpe, Wakefield, was born in Barbados and came to Leeds as a 10-year old and was brought up in the Beeston area of the city.
He has worked as a welder all his life but had to work on temporary contracts because he didn't have a passport.
The grandad-of-six could not attend his mother or another brother’s funerals abroad because he was previously not classed as a British citizen.
And he was unable to travel to the Moscow Olympics in 1980 or the Los Angeles Games in 1984 to see his sister Josyln Hoyte-Smith compete for Great Britain in the women’s 4x400m relay.
Lorenzo, who was finally granted a UK passport in September 2018, said: "They have offered me the maximum for the impact on life, bit nothing for financial loss.
"The main thing for me is my home. They took away my right to buy a house and have something for my family.
"I've been paying rent on this house since 2000. I tried to buy it in 2005 and the only reason I couldn't buy it was because I didn't have a passport to prove my citizenship."
Lorenzo said: "When I tried to travel to see my mum for her funeral I was told if you leave the country you cannot get back in.
"I would like to ask any politician in this country - would you accept £100,000 for living as a third class citizen for 40 years?
"Would you accept £100,000 not to go to your family's funeral - your mother's your brother's your grandparents'?
"If you would, you can have my £100,000 that I have been offered.
"I'm not going to give up. I will fight for what is mine. My message to Priti Patel is meet me, speak to me. hear my story. If you have got time, right my wrong."
"I'm not going to go away, I'm going to fight with everything that I have got. It is not the money, it is what they have taken away from me," he said.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “The Home Secretary has overhauled the Windrush Compensation Scheme, increasing the amount of compensation paid from £3m to almost £27m, with a further £7.1m offered to victims.
“If someone is unhappy with the award they have been offered they are able to ask for a review by a different decision maker and subsequently by the Adjudicator’s Office who are independent of the Home Office.”
Lorenzo said he is hoping to travel to Canada to see his 98-year-old father and to Barbados to see his sister Dolores 81, who he hasn't met since he was five.