Mother of two children trapped in a rat-infested studio flat has been told that the council will not take her for five years

A mother who has been forced to sleep on the floor of her house for four years has been told by the council that she will not be able to move on for five more.

Ellie Riches, 35, lives in a studio flat that’s so cramped, she had to share a tiny bedroom with her 16-month-old children, Nathaniel, and five-year-old Kenzie.

The three-room council house in Pimlico is so small that Ellie’s partner can’t move in, and she and her children struggle to live or sleep.

in a report by mylandan, Ellie said: “Bedtime is atrocious. When they go to bed, I sit in the shower to watch something so it’s calming down and they can get some sleep.”

Ellie Riches, a mother of two, says she feels anxious and depressed living in an overcrowded London flat

Ellie said her children are unable to play safely because of their surroundings, which have piled up on the floor in the hallway and bathroom due to lack of space.

She said that when Nathaniel needs to sleep in the afternoon, he finds it difficult to help Kenzie with her homework.

She continued: “I feel crushed and claustrophobic. It’s a tight squeeze, even for a couple.

“My partner can’t stay here and the kids have no place to play if they have friends.”

Pimlico Flat Congestion
Ellie said she has been sleeping on the floor since giving birth to her son last year

But the size of the property is not only the cause of family issues, but it is also affected by rats.

Ellie said Nathaniel was hospitalized last year with meningitis and that when he returned to the flat, he was crawling with rats.

She said: “It didn’t help that I looked like I was a celebrity when we had rats running around.

“I had to throw out my sofa bed because it was full of things.

“I opened it and there were drops everywhere.

Pimlico flat congested rats droppings
Ellie said she has to hoover every morning because the family often wakes up to rat droppings on the floor.

“I have a mouse here that runs almost all the time.

“Every morning I have to get up and walk around the floor so they can’t catch the rats’ prey.”

Ellie has been trying to get a major asset from Westminster City Council since 2017.

She claims that the council told her that she would be eligible for a huge estate once Kenji reaches ten in five years’ time.

There are currently over 4,000 families awaiting council homes in Westminster.

According to Foxton Estate Agency, the average rent for a two-bed flat in Pimlico is £3,050.

Ellie said she could not afford to rent privately, nor move out of Westminster because her entire family lives there, including her critically ill mother, whom she occasionally Have to take care.

She said: “It seems no one wants to help. They think that’s enough.

“I worry enough to go out. It’s bad, but then I don’t want to go back home.

“If I had a bigger asset, I would have lost most of my issues.”

Clerk David Harvey, the Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “Everyone in Westminster deserves to live in high-quality, comfortable homes and I understand Ms Riches’ current living conditions and frustrations with past issues that have been addressed. Was quickly resolved. Home.

“Despite Westminster’s 21,000 social homes and the same number provided by housing charities, Westminster faces housing demand from several quarters because it is a popular place to live and attracts people who want to live its life. Want to benefit from the opportunities of quality, job and education.

There are thus over 4,000 homes on the waiting list for council housing in Westminster – many of London’s boroughs have extensive housing waiting lists, often larger than ours.

“We are legally bound to allot our homes to those who are next in line and that makes it fair to all.

“No one is put in overcrowding but naturally families can grow and change and this leads to housing dilemmas.

“At Westminster, the creation of new properties is one of our key commitments in our ‘City for All’, to enable people of all backgrounds, needs and aspirations to live in the area.

“Our City Plan published last year stipulates that by 2040, we will have delivered 20,000 new homes, of which at least 35% will be affordable, providing people and families with well-designed, green and affordable homes. It will help to go.”

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