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Disabled mum’s battle after being rehoused in dirty Harlesden hostel

PUBLISHED: 13:33 31 January 2019 | UPDATED: 11:48 01 February 2019

Sarah Martin with son Ishmael Parker and brother Andrew Martin outside the family  home they were evicted from

Sarah Martin with son Ishmael Parker and brother Andrew Martin outside the family home they were evicted from

Archant

A disabled mum has been stuck in an unsanitary hostel in Harlesden with her son for the last seven months after being evicted from her family home.

Sarah Martin, who suffers with multiple sclerosis, was placed in the accommodation by Brent Council in June following eviction from her childhood home in Marian Way.

She fears the hostel is unhygienic and unsafe for her 13-year-old son Ishmael Parker.

Paying £150 a week for one room to share, Sarah is waiting for the council to provide them with safer and more permanent accommodation.

She said: “It’s just so dirty. There are tons of cockroaches, and the room is very, very small and cramped.

“You’ve got drug addicts, you’ve got crack-heads, you’ve got ex-criminals, you got mental health patients, and they’re all mixed up with my son.”

As previously reported in this paper, Sarah, who works in Ealing Council’s temporary housing department, was served notice from her family home in 2014 by Catalyst Housing, two months after her mum passed away.

Fighting to stay in the home after losing her court battle, her condition deteriorated.

“My MS just went through the roof,” she said. “When I’m stressed I can feel it getting worse and I can feel a relapse coming, and then I can’t stop it.

“And at the hostel it’s worse. I can’t even use the bath.

“I’ve slipped a few times because there are no grip rails, and the shower doesn’t even work properly.”

Waiting for the council’s verdict on her living situation, Sarah said: “My greatest fear is that they say is that you’ve made yourself intentionally homeless and you have to go – then where would I go?”

In correspondence seen by the Times, a homeless prevention and relief officer at Brent Council told Sarah: “If we can find that she’s not intentionally homeless then we can accept her case and get her new suitable accommodation.

“I am working with managers and speaking with previous landlords as well to get a better picture about what has happened. Hopefully we will have some sort of solution soon.”

Cllr Eleanor Southwood, lead member for housing and welfare reform, added: “We’re sorry to hear about Sarah’s circumstances. We are in contact with Sarah and will work with her to resolve this situation as quickly as possible.”

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