Hartlepool mum of three says she has faced a 'lack of support' after being made homeless in fire

A single mum of three made homeless after a fire has hit out at housing chiefs over their efforts to rehome them.

Thursday, 19th May 2022, 4:45 am

Michaela Mallam and her daughters Hope, 17, Charlotte, 15, and Meredith, 12, lost almost everything in the fire in Osborne Road, Hartlepool, on May 3.

The family are currently in temporary bed-and-breakfast accommodation where they have just two bedrooms, a bathroom and a kettle.

More than two weeks after the fire, Michaela has questioned the efforts of housing bosses at Hartlepool Borough Council.

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Mum Michaela Mallam with her daughters Meredith (left) and Charlotte McClelland in the bed and breakfast where they are staying after a fire at their house. Picture by FRANK REID

The council said it is doing everything it can although it admits there is a shortage of family homes available.

Michaela, 44, who works part-time at River Island, said: “I feel like I’ve had no support off them. I’ve found council houses that would be ideal and I’m just getting knocked back.

"I don’t feel like I’m getting any further forward.”

Michaela says the situation is made harder by caring for Charlotte, 15, who has autism, and a lack of cooking facilities.

Michaela Mallam. Picture by FRANK REID

Eating out is expensive and she relies on the goodwill of friends for meals and who have generously donated clothes to replace those lost in the fire.

Michaela says she has been unable to apply for three available three bedroom houses she found online, despite being eligible when she looked last year.

“There is council houses there,” she said. “I’m confused.”

The council said unfortunately they were not large enough as the family now require a four-bedroom home.

The fire damaged living room after the house fire in Osborne Road.

A council spokesman said: “We very much sympathise with Ms Mallam and her family in the situation in which they find themselves following the fire.

“Since the fire, we have been housing them in temporary accommodation and, working with our social housing provider partners in the town, we have been doing our best to try to find a suitable property for the family, but the difficulty has been the lack of available family homes.

“We are also trying to identify any potential vacancies in the private rented sector. But again it is currently proving difficult to find something which is both affordable and which is suitable for the family’s needs.

“We are continuing to work with social housing providers in the town to find a solution and we remain in regular contact with Ms Mallam.”

Damage to a ceiling following the fire in Osborne Road.

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