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Blood and urine found in flat as family faces homelessness

PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 February 2015 | UPDATED: 16:28 06 February 2015

Ben Jiggins, Emma Coutts, Jasmine Coutts, 3, and Leon Jiggins, aged one month, in flat at Bevan House

Ben Jiggins, Emma Coutts, Jasmine Coutts, 3, and Leon Jiggins, aged one month, in flat at Bevan House

Archant

A young couple were disgusted to find blood, urine and faeces on carpets and a mattress when they moved into a council flat with their two young children – and could be homeless within weeks.

Ben Jiggins, Emma Coutts, Jasmine Coutts, 3, and Leon Jiggins, aged one month, in flat at Bevan HouseBen Jiggins, Emma Coutts, Jasmine Coutts, 3, and Leon Jiggins, aged one month, in flat at Bevan House

Ben Jiggins, 21, and Emma Coutts, 18, moved into the flat at Bevan House – named after Nye Bevan, founder of the welfare state – in August with three-year-old Jasmine, and later one-month-old baby Leon.

But when they arrived they found human waste on the carpet and blood stains on Jasmine’s mattress.

“On the carpet there was a strong smell of urine and faeces stains, which absolutely stank,” said Ben.

“And on our three-year-old child’s mattress there was blood.”

Ben said staff hadn’t replaced these or fixed their broken oven, leaving them unable to cook food for weeks.

To make matters worse they now face homelessness as the council looks to renovate the building.

“It’s supposed to be a two-year tenancy,” said Ben. “A month after we moved in they gave us a letter. We’ve been told to ‘go on our own two feet’.

“We were shocked because at the time my partner was pregnant. It’s more than likely we’re going to have to live in a hostel.”

The couple are receiving two months’ benefits for Emma’s pregnancy, but this will stop soon, leaving them without money to pay rent.

“I feel like we’re just getting treated like scum,” said Ben.

“I’m not bothered because I’m an adult, but it’s more for the children.”

The council said the block was closing due to £54million cuts, adding: “We are concerned to hear about problems faced by [Ben and Emma] which have not been brought to our attention. We are discussing these issues with Look Ahead [which owns the building] to understand the problem and ultimately to see [the couple] has a home of the expected standard.”

Pat Long, Look Ahead executive director of operations, said: “These are extremely upsetting allegations about this couple’s environment.

“The care of our customers is our number one priority and we will look into this with the utmost urgency.”


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