Overcrowded flat ‘is a nightmare’

The Dowman family. Photo by John Crossland.
The Dowman family. Photo by John Crossland.

A MOTHER-of-four living in a cramped two bed flat is frustrated at not being given the chance to move to a larger property despite one becoming available.

Michelle Dowman of Albany Road, Skegness saw a three bedroom house owned by New Linx Housing Association, advertised and was told, when bidding, she wasn’t suitable for the property.

“I was told my family was too large for the house despite it having three rooms. They say I need three double rooms rather than two doubles and one single which is frustrating because my children could share a room with bunk-beds,” said Michelle.

The problem has got so bad for the family that Michelle has written to MP Mark Simmonds to try and get something done to help move herself, husband and children from the tiny flat but nothing has yet been done.

“My son, who is nearly two, keeps having colds and coughs because the flat is damp and when I told the council about this, they say open the windows more and they tell me not to dry my laundry inside but I have nowhere else to do it and it’s too cold to keep them open all the time,” added Michelle.

Michelle has lived at the flat, which is all on one level, for six years since her eldest daughter now seven was six-months-old.

“I first moved to Skegness when my daughter was a baby as I managed to get an exchange, as at the time, I was living in London and I was eager to move to Skegness to be nearer my parents and thought Skegness would be better way of life,” explained Michelle.

Michelle says it can be a ‘nightmare’ for the family all living together in the flat with no space to run round and when she saw the house, she thought it would be a ‘great opportunity’.

Michelle has a seven-year-old daughter, a four-year-old daughter and two sons who are aged one, nearly two, and six-months-old.

A spokesperson for New Linx said: “Our allocations policy requires that families can only be housed in properties which meet their needs. One measure is the number of bed spaces. A three bedroomed property can have between three and six bed spaces. Some bedrooms are too small to be used by older children. We assess the number of bed spaces required and match families to suitable properties,” they added.