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Mum with disabled son forced to ‘live like animals’

the state of the carpet in the temporary living accommodation
the state of the carpet in the temporary living accommodation Image credit:

A mum of a disabled boy says her family are “living like animals” as they wait for an accessible shower to be installed in the Liverpool home.

Katarzyna Kobiela and her husband are living in temporary accommodation with their two sons, one who has a severe disability, in a house without a carpet, damp patches on the floor, and carpet staples sticking up around the floor.

She told Liverpool Echo: "I have a 19 year old son who is a wheelchair user. He is like a newborn.

“I have to feed him, change him, he cannot sit, walk or talk. We are living in a completely un-adapted property and I have to carry him by myself to his wheelchair or bed.

"Our son was living in a dining room for three years because we were advised to not carry him upstairs, he had no access to shower, garden, or kitchen. It was like he was in prison.

"Finally we were told building works have been accepted and were given temporary accommodation. It didn't look great but we accepted it as we knew it would only be for a short time."

The family were placed in the home in Bootle by the Plus Dane agency whilst their own house in Anfield was having works carried out making the premises unsafe to live in until the construction is completed.

Katarzyna added: "We have had to cancel our three-year-old's birthday party as the temporary house is not suitable.

"The state of the temporary house is shocking and when we asked them today when the building works will start they said they don't know because they haven't got building permission yet.

"We are human beings, we pay bills and taxes, but I feel like an animal."

Paul Knight, Executive Director of Neighbourhoods at Plus Dane, said: “We have been working with the family in recent months to support their additional needs. The extension that is needed on their home means they have to move out while the work is carried out so we have been looking for suitable temporary accommodation in partnership with their occupational therapist.

"A home that meets their needs recently came up and we have been able to move them temporarily so that once planning permission is approved the works can begin.

"We will continue to support the family in any way we can and are working with the local authority to get the works completed as soon as possible.”

A spokesperson for Liverpool City Council said: "The scheme is currently awaiting planning approval and until such time a start date with the contractor cannot be confirmed.

"Liverpool City Council have not been involved in arranging for the family to move this early in the process, however now this situation has arisen we are working with all parties to try and find a solution that best suits the family."

Plus Dane has said they will install new flooring at the temporary accommodation.