Disabled mother Natalie Baker desperate as family of five squeezed into one bedroom
A disabled mother is becoming increasingly desperate because her family of five are squeezed into a single bedroom.
Natalie Baker said she sleeps in the same room as her fiancé, her four-year-old daughter and her two-year-old twins, in a flat in Rollin House, Burnhams Grove, Epsom, run by a housing association.
Miss Baker said: "It’s an absolute nightmare at night. I can’t take it anymore and I’m getting depressed by the day."
Her fiancé Michael Caves was offered a two bedroom home in November 2011, but decided to hold out for a place with three bedrooms.
Miss Baker said they needed three bedrooms as her twins, Reece and Millie, keep their older sister Tayah awake at night.
She said: "I need to think about what I need to do for my family in the long run."
Miss Baker, who has an injured foot and cannot walk very far, said she has started to take anti-depressants.
She said: "It’s an absolute joke. We have been bidding for houses and getting nowhere.
"I'm worried about my health and the effect it’s having on the kids who have no space to do anything inside the flat."
She said the council and Rosebery Housing Association had been no help.
Julian Chun, operations director at the housing association, said their tenant Mr Caves joined the transfer list in 2009 but the options available had not yet matched his preferences.
Mr Chun said: "We understand how difficult it must be for our tenant, Michael Caves, and his family, living in an overcrowded home."
He said Mr Caves was aware that three bedroom properties are in very short supply but had told them he was prepared to wait.
He said: "Mr Caves also stated that he only had interest in moving to certain areas within the borough, which unfortunately means his choices are limited even further.
"We have, of course, discussed all this with Mr Caves and hope that he will be able to broaden his search criteria."
But Miss Baker denied they only wanted to live in certain areas, adding they would uproot their lives to move anywhere.
A council spokesman highlighted a severe shortage of social housing and said no three bedroom relet properties were available in the past nine months.
He said: "The council, together with the housing associations, are doing what they can to address this issue.
Two thousand applicants on the housing register are prioritised against strict criteria.
He added: "Where applicants are very specific on the location and type of property they will consider, it is very difficult to meet their housing aspirations."