Family-of-4 face losing one-bed bungalow where they all sleep in living room

A young mum says her family are facing homelessness after their planned eviction from their one-bedroom bungalow.

Emma Dowson, 26, who lives in the property in Hill with her partner and two kids, says they now face life on the streets.

The council told her she needs to move out of the temporary accommodation by Monday, or else face legal action

Dowson says this will make her homeless, and she believes she will lose her children, aged eight and three, as a result.

East Riding Council say it is under no duty to provide Miss Dowson’s family with long-term settled housing, Hull Live reported.

Miss Dowson, who works as a carer, said she only ended up in the bungalow earlier this year after escaping from domestic abuse.

"I had to flee my other home with my kids to keep us safe, as I was in an abusive relationship," said Miss Dowson.

"The council put me up in a one bed bungalow, which was meant to be emergency housing and just for a month before they found us somewhere else to live.

"Six months on we are still living here and the council have told me that we need to move by November 5, but we have nowhere to live so will end up on the streets if they kick us out.

"I’m at my wits end and the situation is making my mental health problems even worse – I feel suicidal and I’m just breaking down with it all.

"I’m struggling day to day and can’t eat or sleep with worry about being on the streets."

As well as affecting Miss Dowson, the threat of homelessness has also upset her children and partner, and she says it has "destroyed the family."

"What’s going on is traumatising the kids – my little boy won’t go to school as he’s scared he will lose me and my daughter also gets upset, which is horrible to see," said Miss Dowson.

"I’ve applied for as many council houses as I could, but wasn’t getting them, so was advised to look in to private accommodation instead.

"I had to get rid of my son’s dog who we’ve had since he was a puppy, as many private landlords won’t accept pets, so I re-homed him, only to find out that my credit rating is too bad to privately rent anyway.

"Losing our dog has absolutely devastated the kids – my son goes to bed every night crying for his dog, and I miss him everyday too as he used to sleep at the end of my bed and I loved him so much."

On top of that, Miss Dowson, of Driffield, also claims the conditions in the bungalow have caused them health problems due to the amount of mould.

She says her doctor wrote a letter to the council, and advised that the family needed to be urgently moved.

However, the council say Miss Dowson never reported any issues to them.

As well as containing mould, insects and broken fixtures. Miss Dowson claims the bungalow has been too cramped for them to live in, and alleges it did not come complete with essentials such as a cooker or washing machine.

"The bungalow is absolutely disgusting far too small for for us all to live in – me and my partner sleep in the living room and my kids share the only bedroom.

"It’s swarming with ants and covered in mould, which has caused us all problems with asthma and forced my kids to become seriously ill and need inhalers.

"We are living like tramps and it’s no way to be.

"I just really need help from the council to help us all find a place – I work, so it’s not like I can’t pay and I really don’t know where else to turn."

East Riding of Yorkshire Council say that they are under no obligation to provide Miss Dowson with long-term settled accommodation, and that they will take legal action to recover the bungalow if her family have not moved out by Monday.

An authority spokeswoman said: "The council helped Ms Dowson by providing her with accommodation [earlier] this year after she approached the council as homeless. This was only on a temporary basis to enable us to investigate the reasons for her losing her previous home.

"This was made clear to her at that time and the council requested further information from Ms Dowson, which she failed to provide.

"We therefore concluded that, while we would provide advice and assistance, we have no duty to provide her with long-term settled accommodation.

"She has been notified of this several times and we have requested that she vacates the property.

"If she fails to do so by November 5 we will have no alternative but to take legal action to recover the bungalow.

"This process will take some time and we will continue to work with Ms Dowson to enable her to find a solution to her housing problem."

The council said Miss Dowson had not reported problems to them.

"Tenants are expected to report any repair problems and the council will then investigate and take action to address them.

"There are no records held that Ms Dowson has ever reported any repair issues since her tenancy began. We will nevertheless arrange to visit to assess the repairs she refers to."

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