Mum-of-seven’s relief as house saga is resolved

Sarah Bellinger (40) with five of her seven children (left to right), William (13), Henry (11), Alfie (2), Andrew (18) and Abbie (3), who have been forced to live in a caravan until Havant council find then accomodation.''Picture: Steve Reid (123927-077)

Sarah Bellinger (40) with five of her seven children (left to right), William (13), Henry (11), Alfie (2), Andrew (18) and Abbie (3), who have been forced to live in a caravan until Havant council find then accomodation.''Picture: Steve Reid (123927-077)

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A MOTHER-OF-SEVEN who was forced to live in a cold caravan with her family has been given new hope after council officials found her a new home.

The 40-year-old, who is from Hayling Island, moved out of temporary accommodation in Alton in September but had to sleep on the floor of her friend Tina Page’s house in West Leigh with four of her children, Abbie, three, Alfie, 13, Samantha, 18, and Henry, six, while Havant Borough Council found somewhere more suitable.

Her three other children, William, 11, Andrew, 18, and Danielle, 16, stayed with Miss Bellinger’s previous partner Lee Bellinger because there was no room for them.

But the best they could give Miss Bellinger was a caravan at Southsea Caravan Park, in Melville Road, Eastney, Portsmouth, which she had to share each night with Henry, Abbie, and Alfie.

The rest of the children were staying with Mr Bellinger at his home in Leigh Park because they go to school close by.

Now after finding a number of available homes within the borough, Miss Bellinger has set her heart on a three-bedroom house which she is expected to move into within the next few days.

In the meantime the council are also checking to see if a four-bedroom house is available instead.

Though Miss Bellinger is relieved at the move, she says she is unhappy at the way things have dragged out.

‘It’s just been a yo-yo,’ she said.

‘Though I am glad that things are looking up now, I’ve come a long way to get to this point. it’s been a long few months.’

‘Life has been a rollercoaster and one big headache.

‘It’s caused me and my children a lot of stress. It’s been a strain on all of us.

‘I just hope that other families don’t end up in the situation that I’ve been in.

‘All I’ve been doing is living out of a suitcase.’

Havant Borough Council says it has been working on the case with the help of private landlords in the borough.

The council said the caravan was preferable to the option of a bed and breakfast as that could have been away from the area. Guests would have also had to vacate their rooms during the day to make space.

Iris Gunton, housing service team leader at Havant Borough Council, said: ‘We are working on this case.

‘Havant Borough Council does not have housing stock in the borough and rely upon landlords in the private sector to assist us in situations like this.

‘We are currently searching for a four-bedroom property for this family.

‘Temporary, emergency accommodation was preferable to a bed and breakfast option, where guests have to vacate the property during the day.

‘We have recently been successful in being able to secure a few properties in the private rented sector that would be suitable for this case.

‘The first property that would be available has now been viewed by the client who is happy to accept a tenancy for this property.

‘A member of my team is in the process of making arrangements to complete a sign-up for this accommodation within the next few days

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