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Newham family separated for six years by small flat

PUBLISHED: 15:00 01 November 2016 | UPDATED: 15:04 01 November 2016

Tanya Guest with mum Josie Guest and children Kyrell, six, Jade, 11, and Destiny, three, at Josie's home in Simons Walk, Stratford. Picture: Vikki Lince

Tanya Guest with mum Josie Guest and children Kyrell, six, Jade, 11, and Destiny, three, at Josie's home in Simons Walk, Stratford. Picture: Vikki Lince

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A mum-of-three’s children have been living with their 76-year-old grandmother for six years because her one-bedroom council flat is too small and damp.

Tanya Guest, of Kent Street, in Plaistow, has to regularly bus 30 minutes to see her children at her mum’s three-bedroom maisonette in Simon’s Walk, Stratford.

The 35-year-old, who divides her time between the two homes, says the “stress” has affected the family’s health.

“I cry most of the time, I am angry,” she said. “My mum wants her place back, I want my life back.”

Kyrell, six, “who gets sick easily” has Down’s syndrome and a hole in his heart, for which he needs another operation.

Jade, 11, has suffered from cyclical vomiting for three years, which Tanya claims is brought on by stress, while Destiny, three, uses a walking frame.

Tanya has been supported by her solicitors, children’s school and the housing charity Shelter.

She said: “The council has left me and my kids here and they have forgotten about us.”

A Newham Council spokesperson confirmed Ms Guest had been on the housing waiting list since February 2011.

She said: We have thousands of people on our waiting list and due to a shortage of properties, her case is not unusual.

“There are hundreds of families experiencing similar problems who are also bidding on family-sized properties, which are in short supply.

“She is eligible to bid for both two and three bedroom properties but has chosen to bid for three bedrooms only.

“Three separate medical assessments have been carried out on the family but these did not result in any additional priority.”

She added Ms Guest’s bathroom was renewed in 2014 “due to issues with damp” but the council had not received any complaints since.


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