A DESPERATE family has told how they are being forced to share four beds in a “dump” hotel after they were chucked out of their home.
The Wright family ended up in the Holiday Inn in Tongwynlais, Cardiff after being evicted back in March.
The hotel is closed to the public as it’s being run by the local authorities as emergency accommodation.
But Natasha Wright, who is pregnant with her eighth child, her husband Greg, and their seven children claim they are being forced to live in “horrendous” conditions.
The family of nine is forced to share just four beds across two rooms.
She told WalesOnline: “I had a panic attack when I walked in and saw the state of the place.”
“Water is leaking from the ceiling, the shower is falling apart and is leaking everywhere which has caused the floorboards to go through,”
“You can see how if you put your foot down it’d probably go through the floor. Even the toilet seat isn’t on the toilet.
“We’ve raised all these things and nothing has been done. The air conditioning is also leaking. They’ve said it’s condensation but I’ve worked on them in the past and I know it isn’t. It’s a real problem because you can get legionnaires' disease from that.”
With no kitchens for residents to cook in, they are forced to eat communal meals in the hotel.
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Greg said: “As you can imagine, because there’s a cut off time for dinner the area fills up really quickly with people queuing with their tubs.
“The meals often look like roadkill. The chicken looks like it’s been kicked around the kitchen a few times.”
Natasha and Greg claim they have been told they could be stuck in the hotel for two years because of the size of their family.
Greg was also forced to quit his job at Co-op to drive his children to and from their schools.
He explained: “We were told to move their schools but our eldest is doing her GCSEs and I really didn’t want to do that.
“When we were in Llanishen it was really easy because the schools were on our doorstep. I’ve decided I’ve got no choice but to not work at the moment.”
Cardiff council's Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities Cllr Lynda Thorne said: “It is no exaggeration to describe the pressures we are facing on homelessness services in the city as severe.
“Until recently, Cardiff has not had to used hotel accommodation, but the homelessness crisis, which shows no signs of abating, has left us with no option.
“There are currently over 1,600 homeless households living in temporary accommodation in the city, far exceeding the amount of the Council’s own temporary accommodation available.
“In Cardiff, we have Council-owned temporary accommodation for 1,474 households, with 503 being specifically for families. Due to the high number of people that we are seeing presenting as homeless, we are currently using an additional 150 units of accommodation in a mixture of settings, including hotels. This additional capacity takes the total amount of accommodation being provided for families to 653 units.
“We understand that hotels do not offer the same facilities as our own temporary accommodation, in particular there are limited opportunities for food preparation. That is why we are working with the hotels to provide at least some meals. Any complaints about the food or the standard of accommodation are taken very seriously and addressed as soon as possible.
“We are working hard to find more permanent housing solutions for all homeless households. To help address pressures quickly, we are delivering an innovative modular housing scheme, consisting of more than 150 new properties, at the Gasworks site in Grangetown over the coming months. This will help to ease the strain on services as we continue to build more good quality, sustainable council homes via our ambitious development programme.
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“However, demand for affordable housing in Cardiff remains extremely high. There are more than 8,000 people on the housing waiting list but only 1,600 homes become available to let each year.
“We have a very limited number of larger family homes and unfortunately, even where a household is assessed as requiring a particular property, they still need to wait for a suitable home in an area of their choice to become available, and this can take time.”
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