A ROMSEY mother has spoken of her despair at long council housing wait times as her flat is not big enough to accommodate her four children.

Charlotte Scarborough, of Viney Avenue, lives with her 19-year-old son Connor in a two-bed flat. Her three other children, aged 13, 12 and 10, also live at the flat at weekends and during school holidays.

She has been bidding for council properties for more than four years without success.

Miss Scarborough, 38, said: “They all share a bedroom at my flat every weekend plus in holidays or when their father is busy.

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"Test Valley Borough Council will let me bid for a three-bed property, but because of my children's ages, I don't qualify for a four-bed.”

She said the rules mean she would only qualify for a four-bed property if her children lived with her full time.

However even bidding for a three-bed has proved fruitless.

Miss Scarborough, who works as a cleaner, hit out at the system and said it is having a detrimental effect on her mental health.

She said: “I understand housing is very limited but I'm currently coming 37th for a property in Romsey.

"I have lived in my property for over five years. Test Valley Borough Council will not give me any priority for my mental health condition which is effected by stress and anxiety.

“My children are having to share a bedroom. I don't know what else to do as at this rate I'm never going to get moved.”

Portfolio holder, Cllr Tracey Tasker, said that the council was working with Miss Scarborough but pressures on housing means that affordable housing is in high demand.

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She said: “I sympathise with anyone who is living in accommodation that feels too small for their family.

“Demand for family homes in Test Valley is extremely high with almost 20 per cent of the thousands of active applications on the housing register, lacking at least one bedroom. We work hard each year to deliver affordable housing in Test Valley, achieving more than double our target in the last 12-month period.

“Despite this success it is sadly impossible for people to rely solely on the housing register to provide them with accommodation such is the demand we are up against.

“This demand for accommodation remains higher than the availability of accommodation on the housing register and therefore alternative housing options often need to be considered.

“We completely understand and have considered the issues affecting Miss Scarborough and have given her the right priority banding and bedroom allocation in light of her situation.

"I realise these aren’t ideal circumstances, but we have to balance the thousands of applicants on the register with the size of the families and the incredibly small number of large family homes that become available.”


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