A FAMILY-of-four who are cramped in a two-bedroom home say that the council won’t let them upsize as it’ll be too big.
Andrew Vincent claims LHP (Lincolnshire Housing Partnership) is not allowing them to formally swap homes with a couple who live nearby in a three-bed house and wish to downsize.
Andrew says that this is on the grounds that their current house would be “under-occupied” by the couple, despite the fact that their Grimsby home is currently over-occupied.
They are currently struggling as their four-year-old daughter – who has Down’s Syndrome and learning difficulties – is having to share a bedroom with her parents.
The dad told Grimsby Live: “We’ve been trying to get a mutual exchange into a bigger house because we’re a family of four in a two-bedroom house and we’ve got a disabled daughter.
“We found a three-bedroom property in the area where we live that would mean we wouldn’t have to change schools, because it’s hard to find a school that can cater to my daughter.
“We put in for an exchange with another couple who want to downsize, because they live in a three-bedroom house – but LHP has refused it on the grounds that our house would be under-occupied.”
LHP sent a letter to Andrew which explains their reasons for refusal.
It reads “I write to inform you that the exchange has been refused for the following reason(s). ‘
“One of the properties is larger or smaller than is reasonably required by the tenant wishing to exchange into it.”
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But Andrew claims that the family moved into the cramped two-bed house just 18 months ago.
He continued: “They’re just not interested. We’re trying to get into this three-bedroom house because our house is overcrowded, and they’re just refusing it and aren’t helping us.
“The other housing association that is involved, Longhurst Group, are quite happy for this to go ahead, but it’s just LHP who aren’t interested. And we’re so desperate.”
Andrew said that over the last few months, he has been forced to sleep on the sofa with his daughter because of her sleep issues.
“She’s got a bed in our bedroom but because [my daughter] doesn’t sleep very well, she’s up all night disturbing my partner who works 12 hours a day.
“So we’ve both been having to sleep on the sofa, which is causing me health issues with my back.”
“It’s the only suitable property that’s come up and they’re blocking it. We found a house which is perfect for us, but we’re stuck here.”
Speaking of the “shortage” of three-bedroom houses in the area, Andrew added: “There aren’t any three-bedroom houses in the area for social housing tenants.
“The other couple – her elderly mother lives round the corner from my current house – so it’d be ideal for them, and for us to have a three-bedroom house.
“LHP isn’t being realistic and I don’t understand why it’s such a big issue. We’re all ready to move and it’s not costing LHP anything.
“Families grow and needs change and they should have a bit of flexibility and help people in our situation.”
An LHP spokesman said that they would continue to work with the family to facilitate a move.
A spokesperson for LHP said: “Our customer moved into their current home through the mutual exchange scheme, where our teams made them aware that it was a two-bedroom house at the time of moving in.
“The customer was happy at the time to move into the property, as mutual exchanges need to be agreed by all parties.
“The home that our customer wants to move into is not an LHP home and as a responsible registered social landlord, we must also consider the housing requirements of the other party of the mutual exchange.
“The people seeking to move into our customer’s current property only require a one-bedroom property and this would mean oversubscribing as part of the exchange.
“We continue to work with our customer to provide them with a housing solution that they are happy with.”