Mum and baby triplets live in pal’s lounge after waiting a year for council home

A single mum of infant triplets claims to be living in her friend’s living room after waiting over a year for a council property.

Latifah Campbell told BirminghamLive that she was desperate for a home, but accused Birmingham City Council of ignoring her plight.

The young mum, 23, had applied for two and three bedroom council houses, but was forced to live at a school pal’s home with her one-year-old children.

Latifah recently appeared in a Channel 4 documentary called Baby Surgeons: Miracle Babies.

The aspiring midwife claims that she tried to get housing last May, but was rejected due to being in hospital in London.

She applied for housing again in February alongside filing a homeless assessment but is currently still waiting.

Latifah also claimed that temporary accommodation wouldn’t be suitable for her baby triplets especially as one has epilepsy.

Latifah told BirminghamLive: "Emotionally and mentally it's hard. I'm trying to deal with it. It's 24/7.

"We've been staying in my friend's living room and using it as a bedroom. It was always meant to be temporary as we are crammed into one room together.

"I'm still here now and haven't been able to find anywhere else.

"The council has told me I have to wait. I'm stressed, the girls are stressed. It's not a good environment as they are growing up and it's a small space.

"I have done a homeless application as technically I am homeless. The council said there was nothing it could do unless I went into temporary accommodation – but that is not suitable for babies.”

She added: "It said that might not even be in Birmingham. So I'm in limbo. I'm told I have to wait, but I feel nothing has been done. I have no idea how far down the queue I am.

"The council said I would be entitled to a three-bedroom home as there's four of us, but a two-bedroom would be great."

Apparently, around 17,000 people in the area are on the housing waiting list with 4,000 needing rehousing and 3,500 homeless households in temporary accommodation.

Latifah currently lives in the room with a single bed, three cots, some drawers and a fridge.

She added: "I'd like the council to understand the situation I'm in. It's hard enough raising three kids, but it's hard raising three kids when you're alone and in an environment when you're stuck.

"I do have some support around me. But at the same time I can't really do what I'd like to do or what I'd want to do as I haven't got my own space."

The young mum was studying in London when she fell pregnant and now receives Universal Credit.

When she was told she was having pregnant she needed an emergency scan and it was found that one of the babies had a fast heartbeat.

Jamaican-born Latifah said her cervix started to open at 22 weeks. Documentary cameras filmed doctors telling her of her options.

"They said I could leave it as it was or I could go into early labour and the babies might not survive or I could have surgical stitch around the cervix to keep them in as long as possible," she said.

"That worked and I had them at 29 weeks. It was a pretty difficult thing."

The girls were born through c-section at St Thomas Hospital, in central London, on April 19, 2020. Za’lahni was born first, weighing 3lbs 4oz, followed by Ah'zari who weighed 2lbs 9oz, and Zeh'rai, who was just 1lbs 15oz.

Latifah stayed in accommodation next to the hospital for about two months while her babies were incubated.

Za’lahni has a heart condition and last December was diagnosed with a form of epilepsy. She needs to be on medication for her heart and spasms.

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The Daily Star contacted Birmingham City Council and a spokesperson said: “Whenever anyone approaches us as homeless, Birmingham City Council will always do its level best to support them and provide them with the best possible advice.

“However, like any large local authority, we are experiencing significantly high numbers of people who are threatened with homelessness, homeless or in need of emergency accommodation.

“We will do everything possible to prevent our citizens from becoming homeless in the first place – and where this is not possible, we are working collaboratively with partners across the city to ensure that suitable accommodation is found including helping families to find accommodation in the private rented sector, with the help of a rent deposit scheme.

“As has been widely reported, we have a long waiting list for social housing which means placing families is very challenging owing to a shortage of accommodation.

“Anyone who finds themselves in need of accommodation should, as a matter of urgency approach the Housing Options Centre – who will then review their case and work though all potential options with them.”

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