Mum and son stuck in hostel where they can’t even cook dinner for five years

A single mum says she and her young son have been stuck in hostel where they can’t even cook dinner for five years.

Homeless Fatima, 44, has been living in the London temporary residence since 2016.

They share one small room with no kitchen facilities, apart from a few appliances, like a fridge.

Fatima, who asked for her surname to be not included, told MyLondon about the capital’s homelessness crisis.

She says she fears for her ten-year-old son and asked: “What is that doing to him?”

The concerned parent said: “I don’t feel like I have control over my own life.

“To eat, we have to go to my mother’s. I cannot even cook a meal for my son. We’re not allowed family or friends over.

“We just need somewhere to call home. It doesn’t have to be much, just a safe place for us. We have been living in limbo for years.”

Fatima and her son are just two of London’s ever-growing homeless population.

New research from homelessness charity Shelter shows that two in five of London’s adults – 43 per cent of people, are now impacted by the housing emergency.

With children factored in, the number of people affected in London rises to 3.8 million. The figure for Britain as a whole is a staggering 22 million.

Shelter’s research found that black people are 70 per cent more likely to be impacted by the housing emergency than white people, while Asian people are nearly 50 per cent more likely.

“Where we live is not a home,” Fatima continued.

“My son has spent half his life trapped in this hostel. During lockdown he fell behind at school.

“There’s no room for him to study here and there’s no WiFi, but even if there was, the hostel is so cramped and noisy that there’s no way he could concentrate.”

Shelter’s findings, published in its report, ‘Denied the Right to a Safe Home’ also reveal the biggest issues people face with their housing.

Almost two million people in London, 28 per cent, are living in homes with significant mould, condensation or damp, or that they cannot keep warm in winter.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Decades of neglect have left Britain’s housing system on its knees. A safe and secure home is everything, yet three million people in London don’t have one. Lives are being ruined by benefit cuts, blatant discrimination and the total failure to build social homes.

“Shelter believes a safe home is a human right, but the pain and desperation our frontline staff see every day shows this is still a long way off. That’s why we are fighting for the single mum who has to put her child to bed in a room covered in mould, and the disabled man living on the twelfth floor with a broken lift.

“We are fighting for everyone impacted by the housing emergency, and as we emerge from the pandemic, we want the public and politicians to do the same.”