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Council criticised after mother of severely epileptic girl waits months on housing list

08 Sep 2022 3 minute read
Kelsey Lowery and daughter, Hope, currently live in Pentrebane in Cardiff. Pic: Kelsey Lowery.

 Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter

The mother of a severely epileptic girl has hit out at a council as she continues to wait on the housing list with no end in sight.

Kelsey Lowery, 32, said her current social housing in Honeysuckle Close in Pentrebane was not adequate for her family. She said the hard steps up to their flat were a health and safety hazard for her nine-year-old daughter, Hope.

After Hope was diagnosed with epilepsy in January this year, Kelsey said she asked the council for alternative housing. She is still waiting.

“It is horrible not knowing when I’m going to move or even if I am going to move,” said mother-of-two, Kelsey.

“All I want is my daughter to have a little bit of independence. She is nine years of age.”

At the moment, Kelsey has to be on hand to protect Hope when she is around the flat in case she has a seizure. When Hope was going up the stairs, Kelsey said she had to walk behind her to stop her from falling back if she had a seizure, and when her daughter was going down the stairs Kelsey would walk in front.

“If she has a seizure on those steps, my daughter is gone,” she added. “When I have got to take my bins out, I go and do it when they are both in bed, but even then I have got to run back in just in case.”

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As well as finding a safer option for her daughter, securing a home that is closer to Hope’s school and the family’s support network in Canton is also important to Kelsey.

At the moment, she said she yearned to “just be a normal mum” at the family’s home instead of having to wander around the streets or at her mother’s, which is close to where Hope goes to school.

She said: “I just want to be able to drop my kids off at school, go home, do their tea and just chill out and clean up. The usual mum things to do. My anxiety when they are in school is sky-high. I am constantly looking at my phone in case the school rings.”

A Cardiff Council spokesperson said: “Medical information supporting Ms Lowery’s request for a move was submitted in February, 2022, and as a result her application was moved into a higher priority band on the housing waiting list, with a recommendation for a property with minimal steps.

“Demand for council homes in the city is very high with more than 8,100 people currently on the waiting list, but Ms Lowery has included a wide range of areas of choice in her application and so is in a good position to be made an offer of accommodation.

Unfortunately this will depend on a suitable property becoming available.”

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