Baby slept on council building floor after staff ‘went home’ leaving homeless family ‘locked in’ for 4 hours

A family seeking help from the council claim they were abandoned and “locked” inside a civic center – with one child forced to sleep under a desk. Tiffany Powell, 26, and partner Steven Bartlett, 29, were trapped for four hours after they said staff left them inside and locked the doors. The couple documented their ordeal inside Harrow Council’s Civic Centre, Greater London, with their children Elliot, five, and Vanessa, two, and posted it online. The family says they were evicted from their rental home on January 25, after complaining of “mold, moisture, leaks, water in electricity and multiple fire hazards.” Tiffany said: “My daughter and I arrived at the Civic Center at 1 pm after the bailiffs took the keys to our house. “My partner then collected my son from school and they also came into the Civic Center with us. “We were there looking for help with our current situation, but when it got to 5 pm the staff we were relying on for help walked out, locked the door and went home leaving us trapped for four hours the clock alone.” Footage shows the building’s reception area empty, the doors locked, and the family stranded without food as Elliot napped under a desk and Vanessa in the pram. “The result was that our children slept under the desk and the buggy sat my son on the floor because there was nowhere else for him to sit and he was tired from a long day at school,” Tiffany added. “Our daughter fell asleep in her buggy. There was no place for a bed, so this was the best option available at the time as we didn’t want both of us sleeping on the floor. “We didn’t want our son on the floor. floor but he had nothing, not even a seat to offer him due to the lack of care from Harrow Council staff about our situation. “A lot of people walk on this floor during the day walking from who knows where – and who knows what kind of germs on the soles of their shoes.” Emergency accommodation was finally found for the family that night around 9 pm, after eight hours at the Civic Centre, four of which were locked inside. When housing officers were able to facilitate emergency accommodation at a Travelodge bed and breakfast, a security guard came to let them out. After spending the night in emergency accommodation, the family returned to the Civic Center in the morning and were able to get another night in a hotel. Tiffany is a stay at home mother taking care of the two children while Steven is signed off from work due to injury. The two were renting from a private landlord who, they say, did not adequately maintain the property, citing “mold, moisture, leaks, water in electricity and multiple fire hazards.” Tiffany said she was evicted for raising concerns about the condition of the house, which was followed by an unaffordable rent hike. The family are looking to find permanent accommodation in the local area, but have been offered a place in Northampton, East Midlands, over 50 miles away. Tiffany added: “Harrow council have done nothing but make unrealistic offers to properties in Northampton taking my son and daughter away from their poor father, and taking my son away from his educational support, which he has already been diagnosed with anxiety about and made progress with it. It.” The family has become victims of the cost of living crisis with the skyrocketing inflation and the rise in the price of everyday goods. She said: “I am now struggling to rent privately because of the current inflation . “I also had the issue when I was forced to replace many items that were still brand new because of mold and moisture where I had to get rid of them or risk the health of my child.” Tiffany is now looking for work to support and maintain the family’s income and keep them afloat during this time, while they look for a new home. The family are currently staying at Steven’s parents’ house, Tiffany added: “My immediate plans are to get a property in the local Borough Council or a private rental and have a secure home for my children where they can grow up free from their current negative experiences. Harrow Council’s Press Office has said that the doors were not locked, and that there were security officers in the vicinity. They explained that the family were unable to leave the venue as the t -automation of the security shut off outside the office. e hour. A spokesman said: “We can confirm that the family was not locked inside the Civic Centre. “Despite what this video appears to show, the family were able to leave easily and were supported by our security team and housing officers helping them find suitable emergency accommodation. “Officers are continuing to continue to support the family during this stressful time. “Later this month we will be closing the Civic Center and opening a new customer center at 6 Gayton Road for people who are at risk of homelessness or are concerned about vulnerable residents.” help us improve the customer experience.”

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