Our client George* along with his wife and 7-month-old baby, faced an unexpected housing crisis. With their home coming as part of his job, the family was compelled to move out of their home when company for whom he worked went into administration. Seeking assistance, they approached the council and were placed in Temporary Accommodation (TA). 

Condition of Temporary Accommodation 

Initially, the small one-bedroom basement flat provided seemed habitable. However, within the first week, the family encountered a growing mouse infestation in the living area, necessitating a relocation to the kitchen, including the baby's crib. The situation didn't just compromise the already limited space available to the family, it also caused a huge amount of stress and anxiety, especially as the baby was now essentially confined to his cot at an age when many are ready to try crawling.

Landlord Involvement 

The landlord's response was delayed, with George persistently reaching out with his concerns for six months. The landlord eventually attended the property after the family resorted to placing poison in the corners of the rooms, making it even more unsafe for the baby.

Support We Provided 

Upon referral, Kineara took prompt action by contacting the Housing Officer to assess the situation's status. The Housing Officer had made referrals to the Environmental Health department, but the case had stalled. Kineara engaged with the landlord and the Environmental Health team, emphasising safeguarding concerns for the infant. A Health and Safety application was submitted, providing evidence of the mice infestation and property damage.

Despite additional poison being laid, the infestation persisted. Kineara extended its efforts, identifying and contacting the Managing Director of the Environmental Health team, sharing evidence and prompting the MD to liaise with the council to address the infestation. Consequently, the property was removed from the list of usable TA for clients. 

The leaseholders of the building, allegedly a bank (unofficially confirmed), were advised to close and treat the entire structure due to the severe infestation following an investigation. 

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You’ve helped us so much, we are so happy now and want to thank you for moving us and our son from such a bad place. it was terrible, mice everywhere and our son not able to be free, but now he is happy and so are we. Thank you so much

Conclusion 

With Kineara's steadfast support, George and his family were relocated to a more suitable two-bedroom long-term TA in Southwark. This transition provided a safe and appropriate living space while the family pursued social housing, having been accepted as a priority case. Kineara's intervention not only resolved the immediate issue but also empowered the family to embark on a path towards stable and secure housing.

*Names have been changed to protect client’s identity