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Homeless mum of disabled child waits for new property

Jenna Naik with her son Devesh
Jenna Naik with her son Devesh Image credit:

A mum and her disabled son have been living in hotels since their landlord sold their home in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

Jenna Naik is now desperate for a new house with a garden for her 3-year-old son Devesh who has autism and a severe developmental disability.

They were living in a barn conversion based in the West Midlands after moving relocating from India last year, but now the property has been sold Jena and Devesh have been forced to book into hotels in Newcastle-under-Lyme and Shrewsbury.

Yoga teacher Jenna, 37, told BirminghamLive: "I was working in India as a yoga teacher trainer. When Covid started my son started displaying signs and has now been diagnosed with autism and severe developmental disability.

"We came back from India as I wanted to find a good educational setting for my son.

"A friend of a friend let us stay in a barn conversion for a year which was a dream, at a cheap rate, but then she said I'm going to have to sell.

"I've been trying to rent properties for the whole year and being turned away all the time.

"Then I started getting desperate and I was panicking as I only had a couple of months.

"I've never had anything like this before, it's so scary.

"I contacted the local authority and joined HomePoint and I've had no luck with that.

"On Saturday I phoned the emergency housing number in crisis and said I've got a son with autism, I'm struggling and homeless and they said they can't put me anywhere in Shropshire.

"I waited for hours for a call back, I spoke to a lovely girl who got me a hotel and she said there were 300 people that day in the same position.

"They sent me to Newcastle-under-Lyme and luckily I've got a friend who works for the council and they said we can go to the Prince Rupert Hotel in Shrewsbury today.”

The desperate mother posted a message on Facebook asking if anyone could help, fortunately the plan worked and she was inundated with replies.

Jenna said: "I didn't expect that kind of response. I don't use Facebook for personal stuff but I was desperate and I thought what was I going to do?"

"I need to cook for my son, he has a specific routine and it's not possible in a hotel room. He has significant needs where I need to be on him constantly.

"Ironically I was teaching yoga to the homeless people at the Prince Rupert Hotel previously and now I'm living there.

"They said I could be in temporary accommodation for 18 months.

"We need two bedrooms with a garden as he needs outdoor space, I can't accept anything as I don't want to be in this position again."

Laura Fisher, Shropshire Council’s head of housing, resettlement and independent living, said: “The housing options team are aware of Ms Naik’s case and her need for emergency accommodation over the weekend.

"I can confirm Ms Naik has a housing options officer, and is in regular contact with him while we look for a more suitable temporary option for her, as well as a permanent housing solution long term.”

Jenna Naik has been told by Shropshire Council she may have to wait 18 months until she has a permanent home.