Vulnerable family ‘cast aside’ by housing team

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The mother of a vulnerable adult claims the rigmarole of the Skegness housing system has damaged her son’s mental health and left her clinically depressed.

Diane Brown has accused East Lindsey District Council’s housing team of threatening her family with homelessness if they refuse accommodation she claims to be unsuitable for their needs.

“It’s like they are on some sort of vendetta to bring us down,” she said.

Diane says the issues started when council officers issued a prohibition notice on their former property in Skegness, claiming it was too crowded for her and Russell, her 26-year-old son, to live.

Over the following months the family were moved between bedsits and caravans without any permanent place to call home.

This upheaval worsened her son’s mental health issues, leaving him uncommunicative and vacant for hours at a time, Diane claims.

The tipping point came recently when a council officer allegedly insisted that Diane and Russell move from a caravan, where they felt relatively settled for the first time in months, into another bed and breakfast in Skegness.

Fearing they would lose their housing benefits if they refused the offer, Diane accepted and they found themselves in a small, cramped one bedroom property, in which Russell was forbidden to keep his beloved dog.

Although Diane concedes the council shouldn’t be obliged to look after their pet, she found it ridiculous that they had been forced to move from a place they felt comfortable to one in which they were penned in and distressed.

Russell reacted so poorly to his new surroundings to the extent their neighbours were disturbed and so they left. Now, she claims, the council has ‘washed its hands of them’

A spokesperson for ELDC said it was normal practice across the country for bed and breakfasts to be used as emergency accommodation although the council avoided it ‘wherever possible’. When people refuse accommodation, the spokesperson says ELDC works to find private sector housing.