The family crammed into one bedroom

Tonight 120,000 kids in England will spend the evening in momentary lodging.

This week the federal government pledged to “repair the damaged housing market” and make investments an additional £2bn in reasonably priced housing.

One mum, closely pregnant together with her third youngster and evicted from her privately rented flat greater than 18 months in the past, tells the BBC what residing in momentary lodging means for her household.

To the surface world, Steph would appear to be a profitable single mom. She has a full-time skilled job, two ladies, a child on the way in which and one massive secret: she’s apprehensive she’s about to be made homeless. Once more.

“I have been in momentary lodging for a yr now. There’s damp on the partitions, a leaky sink and rats residing in one of many bedrooms. They cost me £1,000 a month to dwell right here.

“Our entire household is sleeping in a single room due to the rats within the second bed room. There’s additionally a gap the place rainwater seeps in, so I can not sleep in there.

“Yesterday I got here house to a hand-delivered discover to stop this flat, saying I’ve to contact the council or they will drive my eviction.

“The hire is pricey and I’ve ended up in arrears. While you’re homeless you must take what you are given – you do not get a option to dwell in a extra reasonably priced space.

“I’ve requested if they might rehouse me and my ladies in Kent. I drive, so I may commute into work and the hire could be cheaper, however I have been banned from bidding for a everlasting council home as a result of I am in arrears right here.

“As a result of I work full-time, I do not get any advantages aside from common credit score and youngster profit, which is how I’ve acquired so behind on the hire.

“They modified the common credit score fee cycle and I acquired into debt. I attempted to pay it off however I am residing hand-to-mouth. I work additional time simply to have the ability to feed my youngsters. We haven’t any luxuries. I receives a commission and the cash goes out the identical day.

“The council solely contacted me as soon as about my hire arrears. They by no means tried to arrange a compensation plan and I used to be solely made conscious of the size of the issue after I logged on to the web site and located I owed them £four,000.

“My sister lent me £2,000 in July which went straight to the council. However the subsequent time I seemed, the monies owed had gone again as much as £three,000 as a result of the hire had been taken out and my common credit score hadn’t are available time.


The council’s view

Southwark Council mentioned it could meet her to “focus on subsequent steps”.

It mentioned 80 personal tenants on housing profit had been shedding their properties every month within the borough and whereas it doesn’t wish to home folks in lodging of decrease high quality, “generally when there’s an pressing must put a roof over somebody’s head, it’s the solely selection”.


“I am feeling extraordinarily distraught over this. Even when I handle to repay all my hire arrears it will not make any distinction – I will simply go straight again into debt subsequent month. It is simply acquired uncontrolled.

“We had been put in a B&B for six months once we had been first made homeless. It was the worst six months of my life.

“The B&B was disgusting. I used to be put in a single room with my two ladies – I refused to make use of the soiled shared kitchen so we lived on takeaways for essentially the most half whereas we had been residing there.

“I am a type of individuals who simply will get on with it. I work in knowledgeable workplace and no-one would ever know what I am going by means of.

“However inside I am going loopy.

One other child

“It is actually impacted on our household life. My teenage daughter has been a nightmare. She’s struggling at college as a result of we have been so unsettled. Not less than we dwell nearer to her buddies now, which helps.

“I am about to have one other child and all 4 of us should share the one room. How is that even potential?

“The council are supposed to assist folks however they have not helped me. I have been complaining concerning the state of this property since October, I have been writing to the MP, complaining on Twitter and writing to the council. A housing officer got here spherical after which left the council, so nothing acquired executed.

“Now I am preventing to maintain even this roof over my head, however until I can do one thing about my money owed, I am trapped on this damp, unsuitable, momentary flat.”

Produced by Kate Berry and Rebecca Maxted

Steph spoke to Stephen Nolan on BBC 5 live

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Revealed at Sat, 07 Oct 2017 01:49:39 +000zero