Ilford mother and newborn twins evicted from family home
PUBLISHED: 16:56 29 October 2015 | UPDATED: 16:56 29 October 2015
The leader of Redbridge Council has called for “compassion” after an Ilford nurse on crutches and her newborn premature twins were evicted when their landlord ended his lease with the authority.
Loxford Polyclinic nurse Rachel Noel, 34, moved into her partner Alex McCubbin’s home in Canning Town, Newham, last year, where he had been housed by Redbridge Council while on the waiting list for a place in the borough.
But when the landlord decided to end his lease with the council on October 19, the couple and their five children were moved to Harlow – a three-hour round trip from the children’s schools.
Miss Noel, who is “in agony” from a pelvic fracture after giving birth in August, said: “I am a nurse, I work for the community and this is the only time I have needed help.
“We don’t have family at all that can support us, only the council can help. This is an absolute emergency situation.”
Miss Noel had to spend two nights on the sofa in the lounge of a B&B in Goodmayes Lane, Goodmayes, before being re-housed in Harlow as she could not get up the stairs.
A council spokesman said: “Despite our supply difficulties and the challenges in placing such a large family, we have secured them something self-contained and not too far away and believe it meets their needs.”
The couple, who receive housing benefit, could not leave the property until the lease finished as they would have been making themselves “intentionally homeless”.
Council leader, Cllr Jas Athwal, called for landlords “to show a lot more empathy” in the face of Redbridge’s housing crisis.
“This is a tragic case when the family really needed support,” he said.
But Richard Blanco, of the National Landlords Association, said cuts to housing benefit were putting more pressure on landlords who “want to house vulnerable tenants but have given up because the rates councils pay barely cover their costs”.
Cabinet member for housing, payments and benefits, Cllr Ross Hatfull, said the council was “extremely dependent on landlords for temporary accommodation” but was working to build prefabricated houses to ease the situation.
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