A mum of eight living in emergency temporary accommodation has said she is facing an impossible choice between potentially making two of her children homeless or waiting years for a council property big enough to house her family of ten.
Fay Hunter has lived in a four bedroom property in Thurmaston, Leicestershire, for almost a year waiting for a five bedroom property, Leicestershire Live reports.
Fay, partner Mark and her children, aged 21, 20, 19, 13, 12, 11, eight and seven, moved into the property after their former rented home was sold and according to Fay, the property was only meant to be emergency temporary accommodation.
Since the family moved, no permanent properties have become available on the council's housing register.
Fay said: "At the moment I’ve put a curtain up across half of the living room to create a sort of bedroom for me and my partner.
“The property just isn’t big enough, my three adult children should have their own rooms according to the council.
“I’m trying to support everyone but it’s difficult to do that when as a family of 10 we are squashed into a house that’s too small for us. This was a temporary fix but we’ve been here for a year now.
“I am not asking for a mansion, just a place that’s big enough for us to have a comfortable family life.”
She said that her older children would like to move out and live on their own, but if she removes them from her application and a smaller property becomes available, it could effectively make her children homeless.
The anxious mum-of-eight said: "I’m in an impossible situation, if I take them off my list I might be found a property sooner, but if they don’t get somewhere first, then they are homeless.
“No mother is going to put her own children at risk of homelessness.
"If I were to be offered a smaller house and then tell the council that they will be living with me, I might lose that property.
“They both work full time but they can’t afford to buy somewhere or rent privately. They would love to move out and live on their own but it’s not that simple at the moment.
“On the list as a single adult, they could be looking at as long a wait as me for a four or five bedroom property.
“I don’t know what to do for the best.”
A spokesman at Charnwood Borough Council said that the authority has six properties on its books that have five or six bedrooms, but was unable to confirm the number of families with five or more children currently waiting for a property.
Fay added that currently her family live far from the younger children's school and their friends.
She said: "It’s turned everything upside down, the kids aren’t near their schools, not near their friends.
“We’ve had anonymous letters pushed through the door calling us a ‘scum bag’ family. We just want to move back closer to where we were before.
“I’ve been told by the school that I might be fined because the kids are late three days a week. I have to wait for the taxi that takes my disabled daughter to her special school before I can take them to school.
“My 19-year-old is at college and needs a quiet place to do homework, it’s a nightmare.”
A Charnwood Borough Council spokesman said: “Families who are on the housing register who have five or more children are eligible to bid for properties with three or more bedrooms.
“Due to the limited availability of larger properties, families on the register with five or more children are normally given preference over smaller eligible households for properties that have four or more bedrooms.
“There are a number of factors that would determine how long an applicant may be on the register before they are offered a property, including the type and size of property their household requires, the number of other households on the register who require the same type and size of property, their banding and banding effective date and their bidding activity.”