Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 24°C

min temp: 17°C

Five-day forecast

Mum and four children living in one bedroom because of Redbridge Council housing crisis

Friday, March 28, 2014
1:14 PM

A new mother, her baby and three young children are living crammed into one bedroom as Redbridge’s housing crisis continues.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Nokoso Ilekana, 42, was moved into the emergency accommodation in Romford by Redbridge Council in February last year.

“They said we would be there for a week,” she said. “It’s just a room, - there’s no sitting area, no kitchen, no nothing.”

Her youngest child is a baby girl born earlier this month and one-year-old twins and her oldest daughter, aged four, also live there.

At the moment they are with their father until Nokoso leaves Queen’s Hospital, where she is having post-natal treatment.

She said: “Before, we lived in Barkingside and I had a two-bedroom flat but the landlord sold it and the council put us into a bed and breakfast in Chadwell Heath.”

Her sister, Bridgitte Ilekana, said the cramped conditions were “dangerous” for the children and paramedics called there during Nokoso’s pregnancy were so concerned they phoned the police.

The family will stay in the temporary accommodation, which is used for people at risk of becoming homeless, until a council house can be found.

Nokoso, who works as a cleaner, is hoping to get a three-bedroom home for her and the four children and turned a two-bedroom property down last year.

She said: “It was too small and housing officers said ‘if it’s not big enough, don’t take it’.

“They said we would be stuck there for 10 or 15 years and it’s not enough for grown children.”

Redbridge has the lowest social housing stock in London outside of the City and demand considerably exceeds supply.

As of January, there were 14,359 applicants on the waiting list. More than 6,700 were classed as high priority and most were waiting for family-sized properties.

According to the council website, people can expect to wait 11 years and nine months for a four-bedroom home and the shortest wait is three years and one month for a one-bed property.

The council would not comment on Nokoso’s case but a spokesman said: “We work very hard to re-house tenants and licensees where there are requests to do so and consider each case on its own merits.”

Share this article

0 comments

   Local advertisers

Related links

More news articles

Click here to read the Digital Edition of the Ilford Recorder on screen
Use our Wedding site to help you plan your big day!
At WeddingSite we know how much you have to organise for your wedding day, that's why we have designed a set of FREE, simple-to-use tools to make the planning process easy & hassle-free. FIND OUT MORE
Find a date using our online dating and friend finder
You can meet new friends, find romance or simply meet up online with people sharing similar interests and hobbies. FIND OUT MORE
Find a local business using our online directory search
Need a plumber? Or a florist? Or anything else? Search our business directory to find Ilford businesses in just a few seconds. FIND OUT MORE
Family notices from the Ilford Recorder, with readers' tributes
In memoriam, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, best wishes & special days. FIND OUT MORE

Celebrity / Showbiz See all

Drake has cancelled his Wireless London performance (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for ESPN)

Fans devastated after Drake cancels Wireless London festival

Rapper Drake has pulled out of his headline appearances at this weekend’s Wireless Festival in London, leaving fans devastated.

Read full story »