A family is facing homelessness after living in the same home for 20 years. Nicola and Mark Whealan fell into arrears with their mortgage while caring for their severely disabled daughter, Jade. The couple's mental health suffered and they were eventually evicted from their house in Ilanishen, Cardiff. Currently, the family-of-four is living in a caravan in Porthcawl, with only a few days left to find new accommodation. While they have the funds to rent, they have been unable to find a suitable place that meets Jade's needs.
Turned Down Unsuitable Emergency Accommodation
Cardiff Council offered the family emergency accommodation and a council house, but both options were unsuitable for Jade. As a result, they were taken off the emergency housing list and their council housing application was put on hold. Nicola explained that it's not about being picky, but rather about making Jade's life easier and their own lives more manageable. She expressed frustration at feeling unsupported and dropped by professionals who should be helping.
Health Deteriorating as Stress Mounts
The situation has taken a toll on the family's health. Mark's health is deteriorating, as is Nicola's, and Jade is unsettled due to the disruption in her routine. Nicola described the challenge of fighting for their needs every day. Losing their family home of 20 years has made everything even more difficult. She candidly shared that they can't handle much more and fear that their family will break apart under the strain.
A spokesperson for Cardiff Council stated that they have been working with the family for months and provided support and advice to find suitable accommodation. The family declined the offer of a suitable council home in June and emergency temporary accommodation in August. An independent review upheld the suitability of the temporary accommodation offered. The family has reapplied to the housing waiting list, and their application and needs will be assessed in due course.