Single mum on housing list for 12 years says stress of moving caused miscarriage

News

A single mum-of-five who has been on a housing waiting list for 12 years says the stress of being continuously uprooted caused her to have a miscarriage.

Sahra Mahammed, 35, is facing eviction along with her five children, from their new B&B home after being prohibited from having access to the property during the day.

The family, including four-year-old Karim who has autism and Bashara, 18, who has tuberculosis,have been searching for a home in Hull since 2007.

Sahra says Hull City Council have moved the single mother and her kids “from one place to another” for over 10 years.

The stress of the upheaval is something that Sahra believes is the reason for her miscarriage.

Most recently, Sahra and her family were moved to temporary accommodation at Donnington Court hostel in Derby Street.

However, she claims they have been told they must now move to a B&B which have told the family they must leave the premises after an early breakfast and not return until 5pm.

She claims the previous stress put on her caused her to have a miscarriage and last week she fainted under the pressures of having to move again.

Sahra said: “I asked the B&B where my family and I will go. It’s winter and extremely cold, I have an autistic child, where am I supposed to go all day with my kids?

“I already feel like the health conditions of my children are worsening.”

“I was working part-time but these days I can’t be due to the situation. The acute stress is unmanageable, I fainted when in Donnington court, my kids thought I was dying.”

“The tiny three bedroom flat that all five of us have to share is smelly.

“The staff haven’t let me throw my rubbish out which has made the flat stink, they forced me to store it in the kitchen for 10 days, it has the kids’ nappies in it.”

On her experience in the hostel, she said that many of the lights don’t work which has led to the family having to use a torch most of the time.

There is no television, and the kids have no toys available despite paying £165 per month for utility bills, something that greatly cuts into Sahra’s monthly benefits of £442.

She went on to say that: “A social worker was called by the hostel who accused me of having severe mental health issues, and that my kids should be taken away from me.

“I have now been told if I don’t find a house before a certain date, I will have my kids taken away from me, I have been on the housing list since 2007 and there are no houses available.

“My autistic son is screaming all the time, he needs a bigger place to play and relax. The people at the hostel won’t even let his father visit him.”

After reporting the conditions at Donnington Court to Hull City Council, she has been told that she must leave on Monday.

She will then get a taxi to the B&B but has no idea what will happen to her and her family over the Christmas period.

Explaining one of the other Hull properties she was given, she said: “It was a house where I had to pay double in bills because of the damp.

“There was so much antisocial behaviour with a neighbour shouting and screaming at my children.”

“I feel as though all the services that are supposed to help us gang up against us to demoralise us instead of helping.”

Ethnic minority group Hull Sisters have put Sahra’s case to the Citizens Advice Bureau, in attempts to help find her some secure accommodation.

Leader of the BAME group, Sonia Jalal said: “It is more than impossible to find a house in this lockdown and Sahra.

“This abuse is happening with our women and that’s why we do the work we do in the community.”

A spokesperson for Hull City Council said: “The council is actively working to resolve this resident’s housing issues.”