A family of ten who demanded a six-bedroom home and turned down three properties have now been warned they face becoming ‘intentionally homeless’. Arnold Mballe Sube, his wife Jeanne, both 33, and their children live in a three-bedroom, end-of-terrace home in Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire – which they describe as ‘the worst place they’ve ever lived’.
Mr Sube, while holding down two jobs, is studying towards a degree in mental health at the University of Bedfordshire.
The council say that the couple turned down three properties including a four and five-bed home thought to be worth between £250,000-£270,000 – and are demanding a property with at least six double bedrooms. The family received a substantial amount last year in benefits and while they waited to move into their current home, Luton Borough Council housed them for almost four months at the town’s £160-per-night Hampton by Hilton hotel, costing £38,400.
However Luton Borough Council today issued an ultimatum to the couple – either they accept a formal offer of another available four or five bedroom property or make themselves ‘intentionally homeless’. They will then be required to find their own home through the private rental market. Labour councillor Tom Shaw, who is in charge of housing at Luton borough council, revealed the family only viewed one property before turning down two others they were offered.
The family have received annual hand-outs worth £44,000 since they arrived in the UK – made up of housing and child benefits, as well as child tax credits and NHS course payments. Describing the family’s all-expenses-paid stay in the Hilton hotel, Mr Sube told the Sun: ‘We couldn’t cook. Children were eating on the carpet. ‘We were ordering room service, chicken and chips, Chinese food. ‘We had to order it twice per day for all the kids and all the family. The council said I had to pay a bill for living in the hotel.
‘That was very traumatising because we didn’t ask for them to put us there.’ Originally from Cameroon, Mr Sube moved to France at the age of 18 and moved his family to Britain from France in 2012 so that he could study mental health nursing at the University of Bedfordshire. The NHS agreed to fund the £27,000 degree for Mr Sube and he uses one of the bedrooms in the home as a gym/office, the Sun reported.
They claim the conditions of their current home are ‘bad’, but turned down the chance to live somewhere roomier over a lack of storage space. Mr Sube said: ‘Me and my family have been neglected, we are living in a three bedroom house and there’s not enough room for us to live – there’s ten of us. ‘It’s so cramped and the conditions are bad, my children are starting school and we can’t stay here any longer – we need a bigger house. ‘The council is trying to make things hard for us, my wife is a full time mother and I am a student.
‘They’re just making excuses, we need a five or six bedroom house with double rooms to comfortably fit our family in.’ Their youngest daughter is just three-months old but even after viewing a new, five bedroom house, the family refused this property because of the lack of storage space. Mr Sube added: ‘There wasn’t space for the things of ten people, it didn’t even have a dining room.’
A spokesman from Luton Borough Council said: ‘Housing stock in Luton, is under constant pressure and on occasions we may have to locate families temporarily outside of Luton. ‘Despite difficulties we managed to find Mr and Mrs Sube affordable housing in Luton that is large enough to house them and their eight children. ‘After a generous offer on our part, we have done our bit and if housing is offered and declined without, what we judge, good reason, then we will offer the property to another family.’
This Article Was First Published on dailymail.co.uk