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Newham Council pays £5k to mother living in a B&B for two years

PUBLISHED: 12:08 25 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:08 25 April 2018

Newham Council has agreed to play the family compensation. Pic: Newham Council

Newham Council has agreed to play the family compensation. Pic: Newham Council

Archant

Newham Council has agreed to pay compensation to a mother after a series of delays left her family living in a B&B for almost two years instead of six weeks.

The mother, who has not been named, was pregnant when she was placed in the accommodation with her partner in August 2015 while the council assessed if they had a duty to house them.

Despite a rule that families should be moved out of B&Bs after six weeks she ended up living there for 23 months – giving birth to her son four months after moving in.

The family had to share cooking facilities with other six other families but they had their own toilet and bathroom.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman heard it took six months for the council to accept they had a duty to find her family a home but a series of delays meant she was not housed until July 2017.

During this time the mother had made a number on enquiries as to why she was not being rehoused and even though the council where aware she had given birth in December 2015.

Her son was not added to her housing application until March 2017.

Her quest for a new home was accelerated once her son’s name was added to her application but the council failed to explain why it took almost year to do so.

Following the mother’s complaint being upheld by the ombudsman the council has agreed to apologise to her, pay her £5,750 and ensure staff adhere to the rules that state families should not be housed in B&Bs for longer than six weeks.

The council must also identify any other families who have been living in B&Bs for more than six weeks and rehouse them.

A Newham Council spokeswoman said: “We accept the ombudsman’s judgement and have apologised to the mother and have compensated her financially for the time she was in unsuitable accommodation.

“We have also carried out a review across all similar types of emergency accommodation and are satisfied that no other families are in the same position.

“This apartment was intended as emergency accommodation while the council sourced a long term alternative in the private sector.”

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