A single mother and her two children forced to sleep rough in her car have won an injunction against Bedford Borough Council forcing it to find them accommodation.
The 35-year-old from Kempston spent six weeks living in her vehicle with her children aged two and 12 after the council evicted her from temporary accommodation at the end of October, a court heard.
The woman, who we have agreed not to name, told Luton County Court in her witness statement: “The last hot meal I had was on October 31.”
A ruling by District Judge Matthews on Monday, December 9 laid the blame for the fiasco firmly with the council, ordering it to find the family somewhere to sleep by 4pm on Tuesday.
Her solicitor Adnan Saeed confirmed the mother was given shelter for the night and said there will be a further hearing to decide on permanent accommodation on the first available date after Monday, December 16.
He said she had been evicted after being asked to provide financial details to the council.
He added this was provided but his client claimed follow-up letters from the council had never arrived which led to her being evicted over rent arrears.
He said: “She went to the council begging them to help her about the situation.
“When she came to us, we applied for the urgent hearing.
“No council representative was at the hearing to oppose the order.”
Mr Saeed, of Abbott Solicitors, Luton, said that Bedford Borough Council could still oppose the order.
Luton County Court heard that in June this year the woman was placed in temporary accommodation. However, a mix-up at the council offices resulted in the woman’s application for full housing being refused, forcing her to sleep rough in her car for the past six weeks.
A borough council spokesman said: “Whilst we are unable to discuss an individual’s living arrangements, it is a fact that no-one in Bedford borough needs to sleep rough.
“Families in particular are given help with temporary accommodation until there is no longer a requirement for the council to provide assistance.
“However, in certain circumstances, the amount of assistance that the council is able to provide is limited by the actions of individuals themselves.”