Mum-of-3 faces being 'left homeless' if she doesn't accept council house 150 miles away from family

Mum-of-3 faces being 'left homeless' if she doesn't accept council house 150 miles away from family

July 23, 2021

A MUM of three has been told she has to accept an offer of a council house 150 miles away from her family or face being "left homeless".

Nadia Zaman, 38, was evicted from her home in London after she could no longer afford rental payments due to the breakdown of her marriage.

At first, Nadia and her three young children were placed in temporary accommodation where they had to share one bedroom in a four-bedroom house.

Nadia became concerned for the safety of her children, all under the age of ten, as 11 strangers lived in the Leyton home.

After weeks of waiting, the 38-year-old mum was offered permanent accommodation by Waltham Forest Council however it was in Stoke-on-Trent – 150 miles away.

"This morning I got an email from Waltham Forest Council saying they're offering me a place in Stoke-on-Trent, I need to go there on Saturday and move in on Saturday," Nadia told MyLondon.

"How can you expect me to go there on Saturday without even looking at the place?

"How can you take me and my kids out of London, sending us there without any support network? Pulling my kids out of school?

She added: "It's going to be heart-breaking for my children."

In the council's letter to Nadia, they explained that she had been offered a three-bed maisonette in Stoke-on-Trent as her benefits are capped.

It also explained how the property was "significantly more affordable" than any other property in London.

Nadia told the council she is willing to take a smaller property in London in order to stay near her family and support network.

However, if Nadia doesn't take the house in Stoke-on-Trent by July 24, the council will remove its offer.

"I don't want to break my children's hearts and tell them we're being chucked out of London, away from my mum, away from my sister, my family, my community," she said.

It's unfair, it's going to affect my kids, especially, mentally and socially.

"God forbid if anything happened to me or my kids – my mum can't drive, my family can't come all the way there to help us if something happens.

"It's unfair, it's going to affect my kids, especially, mentally and socially. I am very angry."

A Cabinet Member for Housing at Waltham Forest Council, Cllr Louise Mitchell, told MyLondon: "Waltham Forest Council works hard to provide accommodation for residents who request assistance.

"Our preference is to house every household locally. However, demand for housing in London far outstrips supply and we regret that it is not always possible to place people in the borough.

"Alongside our duty to offer accommodation to those in need, we also have a duty to make sure Council taxpayers’ money is being used in a sustainable and reasonable way and that we can continue to provide the essential day-to-day services on which all our residents rely.

"We must take into account the government’s benefits cap policy when we make any offer of accommodation and we must consider the financial circumstances of each household to ensure the offer is affordable and sustainable for them.

"The freeze on the rent that can be paid under the Local Housing Allowance makes it very challenging to find affordable accommodation in London.

"We cannot comment in more detail on individual cases."

Waltham Forest Council has been contacted for comment.

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