Scabies-hit family sent to Kent by council ask to return home

Liam Gray, 21, with children Jessie and Jake
Liam Gray, 21, with children Jessie and Jake

A family who say they caught scabies in a B&B while waiting for a council house are asking to return home after being moved to Kent.

Daniella and Liam Gray approached Arun District Council three months ago for temporary accommodation after the couple and their three children Jessie, five, Jake, three and Alfie, one, had to leave Daniella’s father’s house in Rustington where they lived.

Daniella Gray, 23, with her children Jessie, five, Jake, three and Alfie, one

Daniella Gray, 23, with her children Jessie, five, Jake, three and Alfie, one

Mrs Gray said the family were then put up in a Bognor Regis B&B by the council while other accommodation was found – and that after several weeks of living here, they contracted scabies. The contagious skin condition is caused by tiny mites that burrow into the skin, and was described by Mrs Gray as ‘horrible and very stressful’.

They went to the doctors and the scabies was cured, she said. But according to them, the B&B proprietor ‘did not want them there anymore’ and Arun District Council moved them to a house in Kent, as no other local B&Bs would take them.

The house in Dale Street, Chatham, is run by an agency called LessHomeless Ltd, and the family says they have been there for four weeks.

Mrs Gray, 23, said spending Christmas in Kent without seeing family and friends was ‘very upsetting’ – and that she and her husband, 21, are concerned about their daughter Jessie.

“I can’t get my daughter into school because it is a four-hour round trip to Rustington. She has missed three weeks already.

“I can’t even get her to her main doctors and she has epilepsy, so if she has a fit I can’t get her there.”

They called the council on Tuesday to see if temporary accommodation had been found for them, but they say they were given ‘no timescale’ as to when they could move out of Chatham.

A council spokesperson said: “Arun District Council does not comment on individual cases but we can provide general information in respect of the processes we follow.

“In the event that a family require emergency accommodation we will do our utmost to find the most suitable provision for them within the Arun District.

“However, if a property is not available we will work with other authorities to find an appropriate dwelling as close to the district as possible.

“In the meantime we search daily to ensure that as soon as local accommodation becomes available, a move back to Arun can be arranged.”

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