SOUTH LYNN: Family evicted by landlord - just four days before baby girl’s birth
A newborn baby faced starting life on the streets in what a Lynn councillor has blasted as a “shocking” treatment of a young homeless family.
Little Lexy Thompson was born at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital a week ago – just four days after her family were made homeless.
Gareth Thompson and Alicia Langley and their two other children, aged two and four, were evicted from their three-bed home in Hillen Road, South Lynn, with no where else to go – despite West Norfolk Council knowing about the family’s situation for months.
The only property offered to the family-of-five has been a one-bedroom hostel at St James’ Lodge in Lynn.
South Lynn councillor Charles Joyce, who is backing the family’s case, described their situation as “desperate”.
He said: “Their treatment has been shocking. I’ve never seen anyone treated this way.
“The family made a homelessness application and the authority has been aware of the notice to quit their property for some time.
“The council realised months ago that the family were being threatened with being homeless. That’s enough to put them in the high priority band for a new home.
“The council says it is deciding whether they are intentionally homeless; if it was their fault, or not. But it shouldn’t have taken this long to make that decision.”
The family were formally evicted on Friday, February 15, when a pregnant Miss Langley was five days overdue.
But they stayed on a week, when they moved into Mr Thompson’s parents home in Wisbech Road, South Lynn.
He said: “It has been very worrying, especially with a newborn. I’m lucky to be able to move in with my parents but they’ve only got a three-bedroom home so it’s very overcrowded and we shouldn’t even be in this situation.”
Mr Thompson, 22, said they were evicted as the private landlord wanted to sell the property.
He said: “We did nothing wrong, so we’re not intentionally homeless. The council keeps giving us reasons why it hasn’t made a decision yet, it seems out of control.”
He added: “I can’t believe we were only offered a one-bed hostel room. There wouldn’t even be enough rooms for our beds, let alone any baby stuff, plus the rooms are separated by a wooden door so it’s not very safe either.”
A spokeswoman for West Norfolk Council said the authority had carried out a full assessment in accordance with homelessness legislation. She said: “To date a final decision has not yet been reached on Mr Thompson’s application as homeless.
“He has been offered self-contained temporary accommodation within a purpose-built hostel for homeless families, but has rejected this offer. He has also been advised of the different housing options available to him.”
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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