Family-of-six forced to move THIRTEEN times in just four months by council after becoming homeless

Dean and Amy Coombes were evicted from their house in St Austell, Cornwall, in June, leaving them and their four children – all aged under eight – without a home.

The family have since had to live on campsites in a caravan, hotels and pubs all across England.

Cornwall Council said it was supporting the family but "unfortunately there is a high demand for temporary accommodation, which includes our own housing stock, properties that we rent, or other accommodation".

Mr Coombes said they thought three times that their hell was over when they were told a permanent property had been found – only for the offer to be withdrawn time and time again.

"They say 'we'll give you a house' and then the next day they say 'no we won't'," Mr Coombes said.

"It feels like we are being strangled. Your hopes are up and then you are shot down again."

"We have run out of enthusiasm", added Mrs Coombes.

"We feel deflated – you want to throw the towel in. You want to give up but know you can't. The kids are the reason we haven't given up."

The family have had to put their belongings in storage.

Mr Coombes said: "We left one place in the morning, packed the car with all our bags, drove to St Austell and just waited in the car with the children.

"Then they rung us up and said we were booked back into the same campsite we had just left."

Their child have also had to move schools as a result of the chaos.

He said: "We don't want much – just a bit of stability and normality for the kids.

"The kids are asking all of the time – they are confused and have been dragged from pillar to post. We feel guilty they are going through this.

"I don't want an extravagant house. I just want a place that is suitable for my family, kids and our dog. I'm not asking for five acres of land and a swimming pool."

Cornwall Council said: "Unfortunately accommodation can be difficult to arrange, especially for larger families who have pets.

"We review the availability of accommodation on a weekly basis and will move families to a more suitable place if appropriate.

"There is a plan for the family to move in to a privately rented home however like any other move where more than one family is concerned we have to wait for the current tenants to move out before this family can move in."

Polly Neate, CEO at housing charity Shelter, said: "Hit by budget cuts and a lack of affordable homes, overstretched councils are struggling to keep homeless families within local communities.

"To put an end to this the government needs to ramp up efforts to build more social housing to give families the chance of a decent and permanent home."



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