Family ‘dumped’ in housing search

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A WORKING single mum with an autistic daughter fears her family has been ‘dumped with no support’ in their bid to find appropriate social housing in Skegness.

Despite working hard to support her children, Christina Stevenson claims East Lindsey District Council’s housing offer has worsened her youngest daughter’s mental health and made her feel like a bad mother.

She said: “I feel totally disheartened by it all - I’m doing everything I can to support my family but there doesn’t seem to be any assistance out there for us - it makes me feel like just giving up.”

Christina moved to the area with her two daughters in March to be closer to her parents, with whom they stayed initially until she began to fear their presence in the small property was becoming detrimental to her father’s ill health.

Having recently filed for insolvency after falling on hard times, Christina’s credit rating was too low to find private accommodation and she therefore approached ELDC for help with social housing.

Despite informing housing officers that her seven-year-old daughter’s medical condition made her anxious and reclusive around strangers, the family was moved into shared accommodation.

“She refuses to wash in the shared bathroom, she won’t leave her room and she is in floods of tears the whole time,” she said.

“I appreciate there’s a shortage of housing but I need help with my daughter and at the moment I feel like I’m going to blow a gasket.”

The Mayor of Skegness Coun Mark Anderson has sympathised with Christine’s plight and offered advice but warned that her problem was symptomatic of the region’s social housing crisis and therefore unlikely to meet a speedy resolution.

“The social housing situation in Skegness is just appalling, there’s an awful shortage of it and people need to stop closing their eyes to it - it needs action now.”

Coun Anderson fears the economic downturn and planning restrictions based on perceived flood risks make it difficult for private developers to invest in social housing and believes the government and local authorities need to take urgent action.

A spokesperson for ELDC said: “Due to demand, it isn’t always possible to give a family their ideal home. When the most appropriate housing isn’t available at the outset an offer of temporary accommodation is made as an interim measure and we continue to review the situation.”