An Edinburgh single mother is living in her mother’s tiny spare room with her four children as she waits for social housing, a situation faced by many across the housing-starved city.
24-year-old single mother Toni Bell worked as an administrator for the Scottish Mediation Network before she had to quit during her first pregnancy. Now, Bell shares a room with her eldest daughter and her three infant triplets, waiting for a council house. “A three-year-old shouldn’t be sharing a bed with her mom and five people shouldn’t be staying in one room,” she told The Guardian. “My triplets are sleeping in Moses baskets on the floor and are quickly outgrowing them. There’s no room for a cot – you can’t even see the floor in the room.”
While Bell has been offered a temporary place in a B&B as she waits for permanent housing, she says that the lack of cooking facilities would make it impossible to prepare bottle food for her young triplets. But her current situation is a little better. “I feel sick about the whole situation,” she told reporters. “There’s no room and it’s not the environment you want to be bringing your children up in.”
Bell suffers from Léri-Weill dyschondrosteosis, a bone growth disorder that leaves her with shortened bones and in frequent pain. As her mother lives in a third-floor flat, carrying her children up and down the stairs is difficult: “I have to take the buggy to the bottom of the stairs and then bring the children down one by one. Sometimes with my disorder, I struggle even to lift them.”
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