A Wisbech family of six are appealing for a bigger home after spending almost a year crammed into a one-bedroom bungalow.
Stuart and Carrie Best, who live in Prospect Place, have been struggling after taking in Stuart’s three children from a previous relationship to stop them going into care.
The couple also have their own daughter, Faith (14 months), and the three older children – Ethan (3), Jessica (6) and Alex (8) – are forced to sleep in the small living room due to a lack of space.
Carrie suffers from spinal muscular atrophy type 2, an inherited neuromuscular condition that particularly affects nerve cells that originate in the spinal cord. As a result she is wheelchair bound and Stuart is her full-time carer.
The family need a home that is accessible to Carrie, as well as serving the needs of the family that doubled in size overnight. But Stuart said they have been unsuccessful in their attempts to move into another Roddons property.
“When we took the children on, we approached Roddons to say we needed a bigger property,” Stuart said. “But Roddons said they couldn’t help because we had made ourselves intentionally overcrowded.”
Through the Homelink system, the couple found a three-bedroom property in Lime Avenue, but it needed some extra adaptations to make it suitable. They claim Roddons would not let the property stand empty while they found the funding to make the changes and so they lost out.
The family even got a dog because they were convinced they were moving, but had to give her up.
“We can’t go into a private rental because it’s no good for me,” Carrie said. “I need an adapted home. Here, things like the kitchen are accessible to me.”
To compound their cramped conditions, the cooker in the kitchen has not worked properly since before Christmas and they have been cooking on just one ring. They have struggled to get a replacement as it needs to be a special one for Carrie to use.
The bungalow has mould, which they have been told is caused by the sheer number of people living in the small property. And Carrie has been told a wet room would be beneficial, but said Roddons will not carry out the work as they are not likely to remain in the property.
“We’re in a Catch-22,” Stuart said.
They are hoping that by sharing their plight, it may unearth a suitable property for them. Roddons has many disabled accessible properties and the Bests have said they “don’t care where it is”.
Jenny Hodson, managing director at Roddons, said: “We are working with the Best family to find them a new home that meets their long term needs. Our team had hoped that a property at Lime Avenue would be suitable. However after looking at the options to extend and adapt the home, it simply wasn’t suitable. We are proactively seeking another property.”