A mum and her poorly child are desperate for a new home so they can live somewhere warm while the little boy has a kidney transplant.
Yvette Mallows, 25, is a single parent to 17-month-old Charlie, who was born with nephrotic syndrome and has to have dialysis treatment every other day.
Worried Yvette says their temporary accommodation in Pomfret Avenue, Luton, is so cold and unsuitable she fears it’s life-threatening to her son.
Yvette, who split from her partner in April last year, said: “The house is perfect except for the fact that I can’t get it warm – it just won’t heat up. It’s all laminate floors and blinds instead of curtains, and to get it warm I would have to have the heating on 24/7. I just can’t afford that – I already spend £45 a week on taxis to take Charlie to hospital. It would be more effective to heat the house with electric heaters but I can’t afford those either.
“Our situation is life-threatening. Charlie needs a warm and stable home while he has treatment. He’s getting a kidney transplant in the next few months and he can’t be in a house like this while that happens. His doctor wrote to the council explaining why we need to move, but they won’t listen.”
Charlie’s condition means his kidneys leak protein into his body, causing it to swell and fill with toxins and protein.
He has to go to the Luton & Dunstable Hospital every other day for dialysis treatment, and to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) once a week.
Charlie and his mum lived in GOSH for the first eight and a half months of his life, before moving to the Pomfret Avenue house when he was discharged.
Yvette said: “The other families who were at the hospital with us all got put in appropriate housing. I know every council is different but it really feels like we are being ignored and nobody cares about us.”
Luton Borough Council officers told Yvette she must go through the same bidding process for a new house as everyone else. However spending so much time at the hospital means she is struggling to do so.
She said: “Every house I have managed to bid on I’ve been turned down for. My life is hard enough as it is, without more stress. I just want Charlie to be healthy in a warm home.”
A council spokesperson said: “We are satisfied from the energy performance certificate that the property has adequate heating and thermal properties.
“We’re not aware of any impending health issues that might be affected by heating levels.
“However, as this has been brought to our attention, we are arranging an urgent visit to address any issues around the property and how we may be able to assist. We are also able to bid for a property on the occupants’ behalf and will discuss this with them during our visit.”