Harlesden mother with severely disabled son in housing battle with Brent Council

11:31 30 September 2016

Darleen Richards with Harvey  Pic credit: Jonathan Goldberg

Darleen Richards with Harvey Pic credit: Jonathan Goldberg

Jonathan Goldberg

A Harlesden mother has claimed Brent Council are ignoring the needs of her severely disabled baby by refusing to find ‘suitable accommodation’ for them.

Darlena Richards, 25, lives in a first floor flat in Redfern Road with her 13-month-old son Harvey who has an extra chromosome, a heart condition, a cleft palate, severe eczema and an extremely low immune system for which he must take a variety of medication.

She said: “Harvey is really ill. He’s had three seizures in the last month where I had to call an ambulance. I really think Brent Council should house us but they’ve declined my application three times even though they say where we live is ‘not suitable’,”

Ms Richards home, in a converted house, has a walk-in shower and no garden which she said is unsuitable and is affecting Harvey’s well-being.

She said: “Harvey has lotions for his eczema we can’t use in the shower so I have to bathe him in the sink.”

“We really need a garden too as his immune system is so low he’s not allowed to attend nurseries and mix with other children.”

Ms Richards, who works in a betting shop, first went on the housing list as a 16-year old and was regularly bidding until two years ago when she was taken off the register.

Harvey was born a year later and his short life has been taken up with repeated blood transfusions, emergency trips to hospital, and regular has seizures.

Supporting letters from Northwick Park Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital state his living arrangements are “not very suitable for a sick child”.

A spokesman for Brent Council admitted a district medical officer (DMO) acknowledged Ms Richard’s accommodation is “less that ideal” but her application to be rehoused was declined because Harvey ‘can be carried on stairs at that age’ and ‘London ambulance crews are highly experienced in accessing all types of urban accommodation’.

He added: “Like the rest of London, there is a huge shortage of social and affordable accommodation available in Brent, so to be awarded a priority on medical grounds, the person’s current housing must be having a major effect on the applicant’s medical condition.

“Ms Richards’ current accommodation has been judged to be reasonable, so she has not been marked for priority for social housing.

“If she wants to, Ms Richards can ask the DMO to reassess Harvey’s medical needs again next year.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Kilburn Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Kilburn Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Kilburn Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Kilburn & Brent News Stories

A man has collapsed and died in a street in Stonebridge this afternoon.

Residents in Willesden Green are taking a stand with pictures, ribbons and chalk as the council tears up their pavements to replace it with tarmac.

A man from Kingsbury is facing prison after he carried out a sex attack on a teenager foreign student in a popular West End nightclub.

Caroline Brown and Simmone Gardiner have launched #donateasleepingbag from their Queen's Park office to give to the homeless

Two employees from a Queen’s Park based company are asking residents to #donateasleepingbag having launched a campaign to give at least 500 to the homeless.

Healthwatch Brent would like to her from mothers in Brent Picture: Danny Lawson/PA

A health group are running a survey to find out what mothers think about maternity services in Brent.

Andrei Victor Crasi dumped this rubbish in Kingsbury (Pic: Brent Council)

A cheeky fly-tipper who drove from his home in Edgware to dump 40 bags of rubbish in green space in Brent has been fined £1,000.

Sadiq Khan will be in Brent next Thursday

Residents in Brent who have a question for the Mayor of London are being given the chance to ask him directly next week.

A map of the most popular Hopper routes in London

Bus route 18 which serves Brent has been named as the most popular route used by passengers travelling on the new Hopper fares.

Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most Read Kilburn News


Show Job Lists


£3,000 goes a long way at Boots

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Brent & Kilburn Times
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now