A single mum-of-twelve has been forced to live in a freezing, mould-ridden six-bedroom council home with her brood because of a shortage of properties.
Lisa Clarke, from Blackpool, lives with 10 of her 12 children in a Blackpool council house she claims is "unbearable" and not fit for purpose.
The mum says their home on Bairstow Street has several leaks on the top and middle floor of the property which has caused mould in the home.
To make matters worse, Ms Clarke says there are often problems with the boiler, meaning the house, and the children, are cold most of the time.
Ms Clarke and her family have lived in the home since 2018 and has been told she can’t be re-housed as there aren’t enough properties large enough for families of the mum’s size.
She told Lancashire Live she’s searched "privately too and there aren’t any," which makes the mum "really angry" that so many large buildings are being "turned into flats."
The mum said: "I was told there is a shortage of large affordable houses however I have tried to search privately too and there aren't any.
"It makes me really angry that so many large buildings become available and immediately get turned into flats.
"I have known families who because they have eight or less members have been re-housed in weeks if they have an issue."
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Ms Clarke said she believes she'll have to wait years to get rehoused, branding it "discrimination" and insisting it "isn't about benefits."
She said: "I would have to wait years before a few of my children can move out. It's absolute discrimination, why don't we matter?
"This isn't about benefits as I am up to date with my rent and bills, this is about a safe house where we can sleep at night.
"My children have several complex needs and we need a house that meets our needs. We can't live like this any more."
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Lisa’s local MP, Scott Benton, contacted the council on behalf of the mum after she reached out to help.
Mr Benton said his office discovered Lisa is not on the priority list due to a backlog of assessing houses.
He said: “We also raised her concerns regarding a leak with Housing Options.
They offered to contact the landlord, My Blackpool Home, who are also council run to remedy this problem. Sadly Ms Clarke has refused their help and is unwilling to engage with them.
"Housing Options have advised that there is a lack of 6+ bedroom houses in Blackpool, private or social. At no point did my office suggest moving out of Blackpool.
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"I’m sure you will understand that 11 bedroom houses are not easy to come by and that the council quite rightly can’t be expected to hold such large properties in their social housing stock. Ultimately it is taxpayers' money and they must act proportionately. "
A spokesperson for Blackpool Council said: “Mrs Clarke has made the council aware of her current housing difficulties, and has applied for re-housing.
“Due to the limited numbers of social housing properties available, including larger homes, assistance has been offered with seeking accommodation in the private rented sector.
“Mrs Clarke’s landlord was previously unaware of the leaks, but following inspection has provided assurance that these will remedied as quickly as possible.”
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