'All I want is some help to get our family back together' - family homeless as house falls into disrepair (From Enfield Independent)
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'All I want is some help to get our family back together' - family homeless as Bush Hill Park home falls into disrepair
A family on the brink of despair is calling for the authorities to repair their rat-infested and derelict home.
Amanda Eaton, 39, James Perry, 46, and their sons Dean, 15, and Jimmy, 20, were forced to leave their two-bedroom council home in Third Avenue in Bush Hill Park two years ago when dry rot made it unsafe.
The place became infested with rats, despite attempts to keep them at bay, and woodworm took hold of the stairs, making them dangerous to use.
The family had spent £30,000 on furnishing the property since they moved in 2006, but their furniture, carpets and wallpaper has all been destroyed due to damp conditions and vermin.
Just six months after they refurbished the property, their £2,000 sofa fell through the wooden floor in the living room due to dry rot and the floor has not been repaired since.
Mr Perry's £2,000 suit has also been gnawed by rats and covered in excrement.
However, they say repeated pleas to Enfield Borough Council and Enfield Homes to fix their family home have fallen on deaf ears.
Ms Eaton, who is living with her partner's relatives, has turned to anti-depressants because her life is spiralling out of control.
She said: “All I want is some help to get our family back together. We’ve been here for years.
“We just need somewhere to live. It’s a waste – it’s not just a house, it’s our home."
The family has been put up in hotels including Premier Inn and Travelodge over the past two years, which Dean says have never felt like home.
He said: “The council wouldn’t like it if they lived here. Tell them to come and live here for a week and see how they like it.
“It is too much money to do up and they don’t want to do it.”
The family’s upheaval is affecting his education and he has not been at school since the family left their home.
The couple’s younger children, aged seven and ten, were sent to foster care in November 2011 because their parents were unable to offer them safe housing.
The family said they paid £20 per week rent for the property until September last year, despite the home being uninhabitable.
Earlier in the month, Ms Eaton and her two sons were offered a one-bedroom flat in Edmonton, but because she turned it down, they have been officially made homeless.
The couple are concerned for the safety of their sons in Edmonton, and Ms Eaton, who is a smoker, said she would not feel safe having to smoke outside the property at night.
The pet-free flat would also not be suitable for their pet Rottweiler, and Mr Perry said the family should expect “like for like”.
He said: “Dean’s got a £600 iPhone, his bike is worth £1,500 – he’d get mugged. I’ve got a Range Rover – the wheels would be nicked.”
Mr Perry, who suffers with lung disease, stopped working for his family’s demolition business in 2009 after he hurt his back in a car crash.
He said if the council renovates the house, rather than leaves it empty, he would like to buy it and turn it into a decent family home.
The Enfield Independent is waiting for a comment from Enfield Homes and Enfield Borough Council.