A mum-of-six says she’s been forced to sleep on her sofa in a crowded two bedroom home, just weeks after losing her dad to cancer
Deborah Mohammed’s father passed away in May and she also the support network who cared for two of her children.
The 37-year-old gave up her job at retailer The Range to look after her terminally-ill dad as well as being a full-time mum to her kids.
But after his death, she was forced to pack up his home and move her two eldest sons, who lived with their grandad, into her two-bedroom property in Stockton-on-Tees..
One of the boys, who is 18-years-old has Asperger syndrome and has additional needs.
Now the mum and five of her boys, aged 18, 14, 10, five and two, are living in the two bedroom home she has occupied for five years.
But she said the 18-year-old “needs his own room”, so four children sleep in the second bedroom – with one “on a fold up bed in the middle of the room” while she sleeps on the sofa.
One of the woman’s boys also lives with his dad in Hartlepool, County Durham.
Housing provider North Star confirmed the mum has applied for a four-bedroomed property but they “do not have any houses of a suitable size” in the area.
Deborah is now searching for a job and “struggling with the living situation” and she admits “money’s tight”.
She said: “Between me and my dad we looked after the kids, and the kids were happy and fine.”
In January, her father was diagnosed with cancer, but the family remained hopeful as they were told he was “going to be OK”.
“We thought he was going to get better,” she said.
But just two-weeks before he died, he was admitted to hospital with an infection and died in May.
While grieving for her father Deborah then had to pack up his privately rented home and bring all her children’s possessions back to her two-bedroomed property.
“It’s crowded in here – can you imagine what it’s like,” the mum said.
She has given up her room and is now sleeping on the sofa to accommodate her eldest son’s needs.
The other four children sleep in the second bedroom, with one on the camp bed.
Deborah has also taken in her dad’s six-year-old Staffy, Jack, as the pair were “inseparable”.
She says she has received “no support” and is only entitled to child benefit for two of her children.
The mum is “struggling” with finances and receives Universal Credit, but after paying for her rent and bills doesn’t have much left.
She added: “I feel like there there’s nowhere else to turn, there’s no help for me.
“I’ve currently got £4 in the bank and no petrol in the car.
“I get £70 child benefit on Tuesday and that’s when I get my food shopping.
“I won’t starve but we are struggling.”
A North Star spokesman said: “Due to Ms Mohammed recent change of circumstances, she has applied for a four bedroomed property.
“Unfortunately, we do not have any houses, of a suitable size, in the areas where Ms Mohammed would like to live.
“We have supported her to register an application for housing using the Choice Based Lettings system.
“This enables her to bid for suitable properties with other Landlords.
“She has received priority status due to her level of housing need, and is actively bidding on suitable properties.”