Pair with disabled teen in three-year wait for home
Couple plead for council to relocate them
A HILLINGDON couple have pleaded with the authorities to relocate them after spending three years waiting for a new home while caring for an 18-year-old with severe disabilities.
Sarah Knight and her partner Dean Elliott live in their three-bed house with three children, and with Sarah’s sister, who suffers from severe learning difficulties and physical disability.
The couple said Sarah’s sister came to live with them and they expected to wait 18 months before they could be moved into a four-bed home more suitable for someone with disabilities.
Three years later and the family still live in their Victoria Avenue home and say the struggle has put a strain on their relationship.
Dean, 37, told the Gazette: “It’s just not suitable for her. It’s unsafe.
“She’s 18 now and she doesn’t have any space to herself. She’s been failed on every level.
“All we want for her is a space she’s able to be safe in to progress.”
Sarah’s sister has epilepsy, sleeping problems and severe learning difficulties.
She also struggles with her balance, and the couple fear for her safety as the only bathroom is upstairs.
Hillingdon Council offered Sarah and Dean two properties, including a home in West Drayton with two flights of stairs, but the couple turned them down.
Sarah said the homes offered would have been worse than their current accommodation.
The 35-year-old, who cares for her sister full time, said: “It’s a matter of time before me or her break our necks.
“We can’t live in this property any longer. It’s such hard work.”
The couple have a 13-year-old, a 10-year-old and a five-year-old, and say their situation is stressful for the whole family.
Sarah and Dean are in the highest priority bracket for a new home in the Locata system used by Hillingdon Council.
A spokesman for Hillingdon Council said: “The council has invited Ms Knight to bid for more suitable social rented properties as they become available, however there is a high demand for larger, family-sized social rented homes in Hillingdon.
“The local authority has therefore advised Ms Knight to consider all housing options open to her and she has been offered support to secure suitable, alternative accommodation in the private rented sector.
“Hillingdon Council continues to help many families to successfully resolve their housing difficulties in this way.”
STRAIN: Sarah Knight and Dean Elliott