Mum slams Blackpool Council for 'trapping' disabled sons in 'unsuitable' house

The mother of two disabled boys has slammed Blackpool Council for leaving her children ‘trapped’ in a tiny home where one can barely move his wheelchair.

Saturday, 1st February 2020, 11:45 am
The Steele family: Dad Ashley, Harper, Haver, mum Georgina, Harleigh and Henleigh

Georgina Steele, 27, and her partner Ashley had hoped to move into an accessible property on Kentmere Drive where their sons, Henleigh, nine, and Harleigh, seven, would be able to get around more easily.

The family are currently in band B on the housing register, which means they must be considered by the council for re-housing.

But on January 27 they found out that the house had been given to somebody else.

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Henleigh has to be carried around the house by his dad

Blackpool Council said this was because the family had only been on the housing register for two months - and that somebody else with simnilar needs had been waiting for longer.

Mum-of-four Georgina, who currently lives with her family on Condor Grove, said: “My oldest boy has to be carried upstairs every time he goes to bed. He can’t walk around his own house with his frame because it’s not suitable for him.

“(Kentmere Drive) had off-road parking for our disability car, a downstairs bedroom and bathroom which would have been perfectly suitable for the boys.

“My oldest boy has a wheelchair, soon to be an electric wheelchair, and his dad has to carry him. There’s no way I can do it because I’ve just had a baby. Dad’s not going to be able to do it for much longer because Henleigh is going to get older and bigger. I just don’t know where to turn.

“Everything I do is for the boys.

“It’s frustrating. When I see Henleigh trying to get around it’s heartbreaking, because he tries to go upstairs himself and he can’t. He shouldn’t have to be doing that.”

Both Henleigh and Harleigh have muscular dystrophy, a progressive disease which causes the breakdown of muscles over time.

The condition can eventually affect the heart or lungs, and can be life-threatening.

Georgina said: “I feel absolutely disgusted; I feel trapped. I feel there’s no way out. I feel like a failure as a mother because I’m supposed to protect my sons and I can’t do more for them.”

Blackpool Council said...

Coun Neal Brookes, Blackpool Council cabinet member for housing, said: “Whilst we understand the special needs many families may have there is a high demand for suitable housing that can meet those needs.

“The family came back onto the housing register in November of 2019 and have been given the appropriate banding to reflect their requirements. However, although they are a high priority an application for a specific house may not be successful if someone with similar needs and priority who has been on the list for longer is still waiting.

“Our housing team has been in contact with the family on a number of occasions to provide advice and has also offered assistance to potentially source a suitable home in the private rented sector.”