Alana Burns is a 38-year-old mom-of-seven with twins on the way who is convinced that the “hellish” 4-bedroom council flat isn’t good enough for her.
Ms. Burns lives together with her kids above a pub and is about to give birth to twins in March. Since her due date is drawing close, she is asking the council to rehouse her from the “leaking” and “uninhabitable” home into something bigger and better.
“My relationship with some of my children is at breaking point, we can’t keep living like this,” the single mother said.
“The council has been out to the leak and said they’d get in touch with me, I have heard nothing. This has been going on for weeks and it needs sorting out.”
According to Ms. Burns, having so many children in only three inhabitable bedrooms makes their living unsafe and “ridiculous.”
“It is not safe for anyone to be sleeping in that room so we’re now down to eight people sharing three bedrooms which is ridiculous.
“I just want to get out of this hell. I’d rather live anywhere else, as long as it is not in here. It has been really tough.
“I’m feeling down every night and sometimes you just feel like giving up. But I just have to keep going for the sake of the kids.”
Prior to moving into this flat, the family was living in another apartment but were forced to move out when the owner sold it.
After the council found them the 4-bedroom flat, however, the single mom wasn’t happy about it. Besides complaining about uneven flooring, leaks, noisy neighbors, and damaged ceiling, Burns also felt angry about the apartment not coming together with a TV.
“We all have to wake up at 6.30am and a taxi picks the kids up at 7.30am to take them to school in Livingston,” Burns added.
“I need a proper house where I can bring up my children. The whole situation is unbelievable. My kids can’t go out to play here.
“The road in front is busy and there is a car park at the back of the property so it isn’t safe. All the kids are stuck inside all night crammed in without any TV.
“There is no way we’re using anywhere near that level of electricity. We wouldn’t be here if we had a choice but we need to now get out as soon as possible,” she added, claiming she has to pay $40 for electricity per day.
In response to her story going viral, West Lothian Council spokesman said:
“It can be challenging to find suitable accommodation for large families who present themselves as homeless, given the limited stock of larger homes available.
“In this case, the council arranged for temporary accommodation from a private landlord to try and meet their housing needs until a permanent home could be found.
“Previous repairs notified by Ms. Burns have been fixed by the landlord. The leak was only notified to us on November 12, with a repair to be arranged soon.
“We would encourage Ms. Burns to engage with the offers of support already made, to allow us to help find a solution for her family’s housing needs.
“This includes widening her choice of areas to maximize her opportunities for permanent housing.”
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