Family-of-eight ‘trapped’ in tiny flat forced to share just three beds

A frustrated mum has spoken out over being left trapped in a “nightmare” two bed flat. The flat is “too small” for the family of eight, who have claimed they are sleeping in just three beds.

Ms Laima moved into the flat initially some 17 years ago and is now crammed with six kids aged between 2 and 18.

The mum from East London said: “We’re overcrowded – we shouldn’t be living like this. Me and my partner co-sleep with my two-year-old and my four-year-old, and then in the same room I’ve got my six-year-old in his cot, which he’s outgrowing.

“And then in the next bedroom, I’ve got my 18-year-old and my nine-year-old sleeping on the bottom bunk, and the 10-year-old on the top bunk.” She told Birmingham Live : “We’ve told Metropolitan that the door is actually a fire hazard, so if we need to get out, we can’t. I think [Metropolitan] are just ignoring me. I’m just stuck in this position, until I have to make complaint after complaint.

“I don’t want compensation, I want them to fix the works in the flat. We shouldn’t be living the way that we are – why does it have to take months and months for things to get fixed?”

She said: “For the past three weeks with Hackney Council, no properties have come up on their system, so I’ve not been able to bid. It’s a nightmare. I feel like my voice isn’t getting heard anywhere, like I’m hitting my head against a brick wall, whether it’s through Hackney Council or Metropolitan.”

She said: “We’re not living in a third world country, we’re in Hackney. My kids have got no space to do their work from school, they’ve got no space to spend time and play, because there’s so many of them.

“My 18-year-old, she’s rarely at home. She doesn’t study at home, so some weekends she stays at her friend’s because of lack of space. This is nearly every weekend. She’s always out, she just knows that the situation is what it is and we’re just stuck here until we get moved.

“It’s a frustrating situation. I don’t know where to turn anymore.” She added: “I’m so stressed and drained. You speak to all these professionals, but it just feels like no one is listening.

A spokesperson from Hackney Council said: “We would of course prefer to provide a suitable, permanent home to every family that needs it, and we are acutely aware of the difficulties faced by Ms Laima and the 8,500 other families on our housing waiting list.

“Despite leading the way in delivering a new generation of Council homes in Hackney, our waiting list includes approximately 2,500 households in need of a 1 bed home, 3,000 in need of a 2 bed, 2,400 in need of a 3 bed and 600 in need of a 4 bed/5 bed.”

A spokesperson from Metropolitan Thames Valley said: “Quite rightly, Ms Laima expects her family to be able to live in comfortable conditions. We strongly sympathise with the issues they are facing and have been working to rectify them. However, we apologise that this has not yet been achieved. We have been in discussion with Ms Laima for several weeks to arrange damp and mould treatment. However, on her request we are first replacing the windows, which are scheduled to be fitted by the start of July.

“For some time, we have advised Ms Laima to apply for an internal housing transfer to an alternative MTVH property. We are of course happy to support her should she wish to proceed with this. In the meantime, we will continue coordinating with Ms Laima to complete the necessary work which will enable her and her family to live more comfortably.”

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