Anguish for family in one room ‘home’

Eastfield Guest House, Eastfield Road where Keith and Stephanie Locke are living in one room with their daughter Sarah (12) and their disabled daughter Emma (7). Emma has to be carried around the room as there is no wheelchair access. EMN-170111-164413009
Eastfield Guest House, Eastfield Road where Keith and Stephanie Locke are living in one room with their daughter Sarah (12) and their disabled daughter Emma (7). Emma has to be carried around the room as there is no wheelchair access. EMN-170111-164413009

A homeless family in Peterborough say they have been put up in temporary accommodation which prevents their disabled daughter from using her wheelchair.

Stephanie Locke said their bedroom at Eastfield Guest House is so cramped seven-year-old Emma has to be carried everywhere by either herself or husband Keith, including to the toilet.

Stephanie (36) said: “There is no room for a wheelchair whatsoever. We do not even bring it into the room.

“She sits on the bed most of the time and we bring her drinks and food.”

Stephanie, who claims the bedroom and bathroom were unclean when they moved in, added: “When we saw the place I had a major breakdown. It’s horrible, no one should have to live like this in the UK ever.

“The shower has a step to it and my daughter can’t put weight on her foot so I have to wash her in a tiny sink.”

The family, including daughter Sarah (12), previously rented in Queens Walk but were given notice to leave by the landlord and could not afford anywhere else to stay.

They say Peterborough City Council have told them it might be a couple of years before they are found somewhere else to move into.

Stephanie and Keith (43) say they have avoided claiming benefits by selling second-hand clothing online, but they will have to close down their business due to the facilities at their new accommodation.

Sean Evans, housing needs manager for the council, said the number of homeless households in the city had increased from 97 to 328 in two years. He added: “We recognise that temporary accommodation at Eastfield Guest House is far from ideal for this particular family.

“Our aim is to move them into alternative accommodation with disabled access as soon as possible, however this will depend on the availability of homes in the city. Like other councils across the country we are facing a housing crisis as more and more households have their private rental tenancies ended.”

The guest house terms of conditions has a “strict” ban on visitors, but the council told the Peterborough Telegraph residents are allowed visitors as long as they inform the guest house in advance.