Council places homeless family-of-eight in TWO houses on opposite sides of road

A homeless family-of-eight are living on opposite sides of busy main road after being placed in temporary accommodation by their council.

Rebecca Fenner and husband Yassin Amrani found themselves without a roof over their head after they were forced to move from a privately-rented house with their six children in June.

But Birmingham City Council could not find large enough temporary accommodation for them all.

BirminghamLive reports Rebecca is living in a one-bedroom house on the A45 in Yardley, Birmingham with four of her children.

They have to share a kitchen with two other families.

Yassin, 38, and their two eldest daughters are staying in a second one-bedroom home on the opposite side of the busy dual carriageway.

They share a kitchen with four other families, but the girls are sometimes forced to sleep alone in the property when their dad goes to work.

Rebecca is pleading with the city council to move the family into a bigger property together after the chaotic living arrangement was exacerbated by one of her son’s suspected autism.

Her teenage daughter is also expected take her GCSEs and the cramped and noisy living situation is not ideal. The family moved to the road on July 24 and have been there ever since.

Rebecca, 33, said: “I’ve been homeless now for four months now and I have six children. We had to leave the property after my landlord came back from Egypt.

“My nine-year-old son is on the way to being diagnosed with autism.

“We spent two nights in Tamworth and then went to Maypole for 28 days.

“But as my son was banging the floor, banging the walls, screaming, having meltdowns – they didn’t extend our stay.

“Eventually they put me on Coventry Road. But when they moved us we were never told my family would be separated.

“We arrived and the manager said they didn’t have two rooms together, so they said there was one room here and one across the road. It’s a very busy dual carriageway.

“It means I’m on one side and my husband and two eldest daughters are on the other. The problem is my husband works and has to go to work, so it means they are left by themselves.

“My support worker knows about this and has raised it, but no-one at the council is taking any notice.

“I’ve sent 50 emails and no-one has come back to me. My son made a hole in the wall because of his anger.

“What do I do? I’m being ignored. I’m asking to be put in something which is self-contained. I hope we can move as soon as possible.”

In her room there is a double bed and a bunk bed, but no space for cots.

On the other side of the road, there is a double bed and two singles plus shared kitchens and space for pushchairs at both properties.

They were offered an attic room, but had to turn it down as it was not suitable.

“How can I go in an attic which two toddlers who have just started walking and children who could open a door and fall down the stairs,” she said.

“My son said: ‘I’m not going to that prison’. It’s not nice my child is expressing it like this. He’s lashing out at me and biting me. He’s quite a big and I’m struggling to control him.

“He hasn’t been diagnosed with autism yet as there’s a massive backlog in the NHS (from the pandemic).

“I’m also ringing the council every day, but no-one is helping us. It’s an awful situation. I can’t handle it anymore and neither can my husband.

“They can’t leave us like this. I waited and I’ve been patient (to find alternative housing), but nothing is happening. This environment is not suitable for my son (with suspected autism).”

She urged the authority to move them to a self-contained home with their own kitchen and living room as soon as possible.

“If we can get moved at least then I haven’t got to worry about my son lashing out at anyone else’s children. I can’t switch off at the moment.”

A Birmingham City Council spokesman said: “Like all councils dealing with a national housing crisis we would prefer not to have to place homeless people in temporary accommodation.

“We have offered this family alternative accommodation, including rooms within the same building in their current accommodation as well as rooms in a purpose built homeless centre, however they have refused both offers.

“We will continue to look for more suitable accommodation for this household and will ensure that they are contacted by one of our outreach team who can provide support and advice regarding housing options including renting in the private sector.

“However, Birmingham has a high demand on our waiting list and all offers of permanent accommodation will be made in line with our housing allocation policy.”