Homeless single mum says ‘I’ve had enough’

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A SINGLE mother has described the struggle caused by homelessness after learning she is among nine families in the borough in bed and breakfast accommodation.

Nicola Ball and her five-year-old son Harvey share a noisy room above a nightclub in Hemel Hempstead old town with a communal bathroom.

She said: “It’s not clean, it’s not safe. The bathroom floor has not been mopped since I’ve been there. The front door is constantly left open.

“I think it’s disgusting for a five-year-old to be above a nightclub. It’s horrible, I’ve had enough.”

Nicola and Harvey lost the roof over their head in January when their landlord decided he wanted to move into the flat they were renting in Longlands, Adeyfield. Out of work as a cleaner and unable to save for the deposit needed to rent privately, Nicola, 26, turned to Dacorum Borough Council.

She was put into bed and breakfast accommodation and following a review was awarded the maximum number of points to bid for a council home.

However, the only properties that have come up have been too far away from Harvey’s school in Adeyfield and Nicola risks losing her priority status after a period of time.

“School is the only place he’s settled. It’s not fair on him,” she said. “Places came up in Bovingdon and Kings Langley. I don’t drive and that’s too far out for me. What will happen when my priority card runs out? I don’t know what to do.”

Nicola spoke out after The Gazette reported last week that nine households are in temporary accommodation, with 19 more under threat of eviction, according to council figures. The number seeking help from the council because of homelessness has tripled in six months. The economy and benefits changes have been blamed for the rise.