Family of five plea for move from one bedroom flat

By Ian Dipple Friday 25 April 2014 Updated: 25/04 08:54

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Buy photos » Simon Williams with his sons Jack, three, Harry, two and Max, one. Picture by Marcus Mingins 1714001MMR

A WINYATES man has accused the borough council of 'slaughtering' him and his family by forcing five of them to live in a one bedroom flat.

Simon Williams claimed his 15-month-old son Max's development was being hindered by a lack of space while the walls of their flat in Lingen Close were covered in mould which was damaging their health.

The two of them share the same bedroom along with Mr Williams' girlfriend, and their two other children

Harry who is nearly three and Jack who is almost four.

The 27-year-old said Redditch Borough Council had been informed the family would need to move to a bigger property when his girlfriend fell pregnant with Harry. But the council has refused to move them because they are in rent arrears - a fact Mr Williams acknowledges as a result of their circumstances changing over the last few years, including most recently in March when he stopped working following the death of his father.

But he said the rent arrears did not justify the conditions they were being forced to live in which meant he and his children were suffering from breathing problems as a result of the damp conditions and their health visitor had warned them Max was not crawling or walking at the rate expected due to the cramped living space.

"They are breaking every single condition in their own rule book. The house is covered in mould, particularly the bedroom where we all sleep, and we've tried to get rid of it but it just keeps coming back," he said.

"I've had a chest infection since last April and we are all suffering. They are slaughtering me and my family."

A council spokesman said they were aware the family were going through difficult times and were trying to work with them to get them back on track.

"For some time now we have been trying to get to a position where they have paid rent consistently, which is what could enable them to move into a larger property. We've advised on all the various support available to them and it's now up to them to show they are able to pay rent," he said.

"We are sympathetic to their situation but not paying rent has a direct impact on all our other tenants and ultimately the standard of housing for everyone. Furthermore tenants that fail to pay rent risk losing their home as this is a breach of tenancy conditions and in such circumstances the council would be unlikely to offer any alternative accommodation."

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Buy photos» Simon Williams with his sons Jack, three, Harry, two and Max, one. Picture by Marcus Mingins 1714001MMR

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