Mum forced to carry disabled child up stars in block without lift is paid £1k

By Charlotte Lillywhite, Local Democracy Reporter

A council has agreed to pay a mum £1,000 after it took too long to assess her application to be moved from a flat where she had to carry her disabled child up the stairs as it did not have a lift. 

A watchdog found the mum waited almost seven months for Wandsworth council’s first decision on their priority band for rehousing, which was then reassessed twice.

The woman, named Ms X in the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman report, is a council tenant and lived with her partner and their four children in a three-bedroom flat on the third floor of a block without a lift. 

Two of her children are disabled, including her youngest, who can’t walk.

The mum said she or her partner had to carry their youngest child up more than 50 steps to the flat while living there. 

She said she experienced shortness of breath and chest pains, while her chronic back pain was made worse by carrying her child.

The ombudsman found the council took “far too long” to assess Ms X’s application to join the housing register and to reassess her priority when she provided more evidence about her family’s medical needs. 

A Wandsworth council spokesman said: “As the ombudsman points out this family was provided with a five-bedroom property at the earliest possible opportunity and there was no actual delay in the time it took to arrange that transfer to a new home.

“However we do accept there were delays in fully assessing their housing needs and while that didn’t mean the family missed out on an earlier move to a more suitably-sized home, some decisions took longer than they should have and so we have apologised to the family concerned and agreed to pay compensation.”

Pictured top: Wandsworth town hall (Picture: Google maps)

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