Families / Providing larger family homes
An east London family with six children were struggling in a crowded two bedroom house in Plaistow and were desperate to move into a larger home.
Having been on the waiting list since 2002, the family hoped for a larger home to accommodate their family. The children are aged between two and 15 and it was the eldest daughter’s pleas for more privacy that finally motivated her parents to get proactive about finding a way to make the move.
The family was supported by East Thames Group’s Home Choices team to look at different ways to find a new home. They helped the family place bids on bigger houses through Choice Based Lettings in other boroughs, which meant they had a much better chance of finding a home.
In late 2009 the family got the good news they had been waiting for - their bid for a larger house in Newham had been accepted and they moved into East Thames’ Winsor Park development that November.
The mother (who wished not to be named), said of her experience:
“I liked the area we were living in (Plaistow) as I had a strong support network of friends and it was safe with no troublemakers or gangs.
“But I knew our house was far too small. Five of my children were sharing one bedroom. There was no dining room and the kitchen was so open that children would come running at you whilst you were cooking on the stove, which was often dangerous.
“I spent a long time trying to find a bigger home in the same area, because it was close to all of our family friends, but I couldn’t find anyone to do a home swap with me.
“Rochelle (East Thames’ Homes Choice Manager) helped me to place bids on bigger houses through Choice Based Lettings. She explained that we might have to look in other areas to give us a better chance.
“When we finally got accepted to Winsor Park, I was so happy. Now my children all have a room each, except for the youngest who sleeps in our room.
The mother says that their new privacy has also made her children happier as they can do their school work with no disruptions, there are less fights between them and she can find things easier because they have more space.
“I used to find that when one person came home with coughs or sneezes, the rest of the family would catch it because we were living so close. Now, this doesn’t happen and we are healthier,” she explained.
The family were looking forward to getting the children’s school results for the term, which would hopefully show that their new home has had a positive impact on their studies.