Desperate family stuck in two-bed home after council refuses to let them swap

A family-of-four with a disabled daughter sleeping in the same room as her parents claim they are “stuck” in a cramped two-bedroom house after being refused a home swap with another social housing tenant.

Desperate Andrew Vincent claims Lincolnshire Housing Partnership is not allowing them to formally swap homes with a couple who live nearby in Grimbsy.

The couple has a three-bedroom house and wish to downsize, but the council are refusing on the grounds that if they moved into the two-bed house, it would be “under-occupied” by the couple.

Mr Vincent said this is despite the fact that their home is currently over-occupied, with their four-year-old daughter Lilly- who has Down’s Syndrome and learning difficulties – having to share a bedroom with her parents.

He told Grimsby Live : “We’ve been trying to get a mutual exchange into a bigger house because we’re a family of four in a two-bedroom house and we’ve got a disabled daughter.

“We found a three-bedroom property in the area where we live that would mean we wouldn’t have to change schools, because it’s hard to find a school that can cater to my daughter.

“We put in for an exchange with another couple who want to downsize, because they live in a three-bedroom house – but LHP has refused it on the grounds that our house would be under-occupied.”

Mr Vincent said his family moved into the two-bedroom house 18 months ago.

He added: “They’re just not interested. We’re trying to get into this three-bedroom house because our house is overcrowded, and they’re just refusing it and aren’t helping us.

“The other housing association that is involved, Longhurst Group, are quite happy for this to go ahead, but it’s just LHP who aren’t interested.

“And we’re so desperate.”

He added: “We found a couple who wanted to downsize, and their granddaughter stays with them three nights a week so their daughter can go to work, and LHP is saying they can’t have our house because it’s too big and it’s a lot smaller than the one they’re currently in, that it’s a two-bedroom house and there’s only two of them moving in.”

Mr Vincent said that over the last few months, he has been forced to sleep on the sofa with his daughter because of her sleep issues.

He added: “She’s got a bed in our bedroom but because [my daughter] doesn’t sleep very well, she’s up all night disturbing my partner who works 12 hours a day.

“So we’ve both been having to sleep on the sofa, which is causing me health issues with my back.

“It’s the only suitable property that’s come up and they’re blocking it. We found a house which is perfect for us, but we’re stuck here. I’ve tried to get somewhere with LHP but I’ve not heard anything. It’s like they’re not interested.”

An LHP spokesman said: “Our customer moved into their current home through the mutual exchange scheme, where our teams made them aware that it was a two-bedroom house at the time of moving in.

“The customer was happy at the time to move into the property, as mutual exchanges need to be agreed by all parties.

“The home that our customer wants to move into is not an LHP home and as a responsible registered social landlord, we must also consider the housing requirements of the other party of the mutual exchange.

“The people seeking to move into our customer’s current property only require a one-bedroom property and this would mean oversubscribing as part of the exchange.

“We continue to work with our customer to provide them with a housing solution that they are happy with.”