Jolene Allsopp, from Belfast, says nine people, including her nephew, are living in the two-bed flat where her kids are “crawling the walls because there’s no space”
Image: Belfast Live)
A mum-of-seven says she is at her “breaking point” as she begs authorities for a bigger home after being forced to move into a two-bedroom flat.
Jolene Allsopp, from North Belfast, said there are nine people – including her nephew – crammed into the apartment in a tower block.
The 35-year-old mum told Belfast Live that she and her children, aged between seven months and 13 year, need to be rehomed urgently and she has been begging for help for several months.
She said: “We have been living here for the past seven months and it has been absolute hell.
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“The reason I’m here is because I had a breakdown after the birth of my baby and was also going through very personal issues.
“We’re up on the ninth floor and the kids are crawling the walls because there’s no space whatsoever. My nine-year-old boy is also autistic so it’s very tough.”
Jolene added: “My two eldest daughters are sleeping on a sofa because they won’t let me take it. I sleep on the sofa some nights to let one of them into the bedroom instead.
“In one of the rooms I have a king size and a toddler bed with a double bed and cot in the other room. Then we are pulling two sofas together to make a double bed. It’s an absolute nightmare at night-time and first thing in the morning.
“I don’t sleep a wink at night and I’m on my feet all day with the kids. There’s no room to sort our clothes or anything because there’s nowhere to put in cupboards. The kids are living out of wash baskets and boxes.”
“No-one can help me or seems to be taking this seriously,” Jolene said.
“I have been phoning the Housing Executive every single day but I’m getting no answers. I shouldn’t be on the ninth floor of a tower block with young children.
“There’s no normality or stability for my children in this situation or any routine that I can get into in this tiny flat, which is freezing and damp as well.”
The Northern Ireland Housing Executive said it is working to resolve the family’s situation.
A spokesperson for the Housing Executive said: “Our staff have been working hard to find a housing solution in this case and will continue to do so.
“The family has a high level of housing points, however, they are on the waiting list for an area of very high housing demand and low housing turnover.
“Also, the specific type of property required is not available in that area.
“Offers of temporary accommodation have been declined.”