Our family-of-5 is crammed in one bedroom but the council won't give us a bigger home…it said to put beds in the lounge | The Sun

Our family-of-5 is crammed in one bedroom but the council won't give us a bigger home…it said to put beds in the lounge | The Sun


A MUM has told how she is crammed into a one-bedroom flat with her partner and three kids.

Leanne Hallisey, 28, begged the council for help to leave the one bedroom flat to give her kids – aged three, four and four months – more space.

But their best advice was to put beds in the lounge to help house the youngsters in Cardiff, Wales.

Raging Leanne told Wales Online: "I can't really because where are the kids going to live? They have to have somewhere to live through the day.

"There is no storage – nothing. We have got one cupboard which is full of the kids' stuff.

"We have got the one bedroom, which I have managed to squeeze a double bed, bunk bed for the three and four-year-old, and our [cradle] as well.

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"And then we have got a living room and a kitchen. You can't even turn around in the kitchen it is that small."

Leanne is on an urgent council waiting list to get a bigger place.

But she fears her growing kids will run out of space before a new property becomes available – especially their four-month old baby.

She added: "He is getting bigger now.

"So I need to find out where I am going to put a cot.

"That is the next thing on my list now – how to squeeze one of them in.

"We have got three chest of drawers in there as well but they are piled on top of each other."

Cardiff Council says there are 8,200 people on the housing waiting list.

It receives 400 new applications a month – but only 1,600 properties each year become available to let.

The crisis has left Leanne battling with her mental health.

She said: "It does play with my mental health a lot. I don't really want to go out and I don't want to stay in.

"It is mainly affecting me because of the kids. I know that their quality of life is just really bad because of the situation that we are in. It affects me because of them."

Cardiff Council's cabinet member for communities and housing Cllr Lynda Thorne said: "We really are looking at every opportunity we can to find immediate solutions like this as well as for the longer term as obviously it takes time to plan and build new homes.

"There is always more that can be done – our work never stops. But I can say confidently that at the moment the council is doing everything it possibly can do, within its ability and resources, to help tackle these pressures we are facing.

How to complain about your council home

According to the government’s website, there are three steps you can take to complain about your council property.

At first contact your local council, they should have a complaints procedure that you can follow.

If the issue isn’t resolved by the council, you can contact your MP or a local councillor to ask for their support.

If the problem is still not resolved you can contact the Housing Ombudsman. You can email them at [email protected] or telephone 0300 111 3000.

 A Welsh Government spokesman said: "We believe everybody has a right to a decent, affordable home and are committed to supporting the housing sector during this period of significant demand in both the social and private rented sector.

"In addition to our ambitious 20,000 social homes target our £65m transitional accommodation capital programme is already scheduled to deliver a further 1,052 homes over the next two to three years. This will help local authorities move people on from temporary accommodation into longer-term homes.

"We have also provided local authorities access to a £6m homelessness prevention fund which they can use to prevent people and families from becoming homeless.

"A total of £197m for homelessness prevention and housing support, together with a record £310m for social housing this financial year, supports our ambition to end homelessness and deliver 20,000 new low-carbon homes for rent in the social sector during this government term.”

To apply for a council house, you need to hand in an application with the local council.

Simply access the gov.uk website and enter the postcode in which you want to apply for a council house in.

It will guide you to which council you need to contact.

Be aware that you'll probably have to join a waiting list and this still does not guarantee you a council house.

Once you are relocated to the council's website, it will show you guidelines on how to complete your application.

You will also get advice on how to stay in your home and solve any issues you might have, such as problems with a private landlord or mortgage, or even tell you what to do if you're in immediate risk of becoming homeless.

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Council house tenants are able to switch their house to another rented council property, if the other person agrees.

The HomeSwap Scheme, formally Mutual Exchange, is now called HomeSwap Direct, and was introduced by Grant Shapps in 2011. 

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