Housing hell for young family

THREE is most definitely a crowd for husband and wife Nikki and Richard Davey who have had to share a bed with their toddler Courtney for almost two years.

THREE is most definitely a crowd for husband and wife Nikki and Richard Davey who have had to share a bed with their toddler Courtney for almost two years.

But their dreams of exchanging their housing association home with a couple who wanted a smaller house have been thwarted for the last ten months because of slow-moving bureaucracy and a letter that got lost in the post.

At first the couple were told they could not exchange because Judy and Richard Mitchell, who they were swapping with, were in rent arrears, but once that was sorted they are now waiting for Swan Housing Association to send their transfer papers to Ipswich Borough.

Mr and Mrs Mitchell were finding their four-bedroomed home too big for the two of them, so found it made sense to move to a smaller home where another family were squashed in.

However a spokeswoman for Swan said that up until two weeks ago the Mitchells did not even meet the criteria for an exchange.

But for Mr and Mrs Davey they are at the end of their tether with waiting to move to a house where their children can have their own bedroom.

Most Read

They have suffered the three-in-a-bed ordeal for 20 months because three-year-old Courtney and her one-year-old brother Callum will not sleep if they are in the same room.

Mrs Davey, 22, of Landseer Road, Ipswich, said: “It's putting a strain on me and my husband. We are spending no quality time together. I just want her in her own room.

“I have been on the exchange list for three years and this is the first one that's come along.

“I know exchanges can take a while to go through but it's just getting ridiculous.”

Mr Mitchell, 35, of Dhobi Place, Ipswich, said: “It was about a month ago when we paid our rent arrears. The latest thing Swan said is that they are going to send the transfer papers to the council.

“We have done everything they have told us to. It's been going on for ten months.”

An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said: “We are awaiting a report from the Mitchells' landlord confirming the details on the application are correct and giving conditional approval for the exchange to take place.

“We have given conditional approval for the exchange but this can't go ahead until the report is received and we give final approval.”

Susan Harland, a housing officer for Swan Housing Group, said: “Up until two weeks ago, the Mitchells did not fit the criteria for the exchange.

“Last week a letter was sent to the council with the reference approving the exchange.

“It must have got lost in the post so another letter has gone out.”

Have you experienced problems with your house exchange? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter