Motor Neurone Disease sufferer ‘forced to move into third-floor council flat’ in Wembley

Noreen Khan, who has motor neurone disease & husband Arif Khan in their temporary accommodation. Pic

Noreen Khan, who has motor neurone disease & husband Arif Khan in their temporary accommodation. Pic credit: Adam Tiernan Thomas - Credit: Archant

A Motor Neurone Disease sufferer claims the council is forcing her to move in to a third-floor flat despite knowing she is wheelchair dependant.

Noreen Khan said she was told she would make herself intentionally homeless unless she accepted the permanent accommodation in Fulton Road, Wembley, despite her suffering from the incurable progressive disease.

The 53-year-old claims the property is unadapted and unsuitable for her needs including a bedroom that is too small to fit a motorised wheelchair and hoist, which she will eventually require.

Mrs Khan will move into the three-bedroom flat with her husband Arif, and their two sons Irfan, 30 and Zubair, 20, in the next few weeks.

She said: “We didn’t bid on this flat. It will be difficult for me to live there.

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“The council offered it and forced us to accept it. They told us if we didn’t take this property we are making ourselves homeless. They put us in a catch 22, we cannot not take it, we just had to take it.”

The family moved to Brent from Cardiff seven years ago to care for Mrs Khan’s mother.

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They ended up needing council accommodation after they fell into rent arrears and were evicted by their landlord.

The council placed them in bed and breakfast accommodation then moved them to temporary accommodation before making them a permanent offer.

Mrs Khan’s 59-year-old husband said: “My wife has MND, she is deteriorating, soon she will need a hoist to get her in and out of bed but the rooms are already too small.

“You can’t swing a cat in there, how will you swing a crane?

“When we went to view it I took her in her normal wheelchair and it was a squeeze in the lift, soon she’ll be in a motorised chair, I don’t see that going into the lift and what do we do in an emergency?”

“The council has totally ignored health and safety, totally ignored our concerns. If they had offered us a ground floor flat, our social worker said we could have had that adapted.”

A council spokeswoman said the family were offered the property to meet their housing needs and they had received assurances it could accommodate Mrs Khan’s wheelchair.

She added: “Mr Khan has requested a review over the suitability of this accommodation which we are happy to fully partake in and we will action any findings.

“Due to the rarity of securing this type of accommodation, and taking into account the importance of finding Mr Khan and his family suitable accommodation as soon as possible, we are urging Mr Khan to accept the offer.”

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