I’ve been stuck in temporary housing for two years and my kids are struggling to cope

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A Salford mum who has lived in temporary housing for nearly two years says she and her children can’t cope any longer.

Katie Collins was put in temporary accommodation in October 2022 after her family was evicted from a private rental property under a section 21 ‘no fault eviction’.

The 36-year-old lives with her three children – aged 15, 12 and five – in a three-bedroom house on Swinton Hall Road. She says the property is too small.

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Katie says they’re living out of bags and suitcases. The prospect of having to move at short notice has meant they’ve not been able to settle.

Daughter Abi, five, has complex medical needs and needs help getting around – and has transport assistance from the council to and from school. Katie has a problem with her hip and is awaiting an operation.

The exhausted mother is having to carry her daughter up and down the stairs, forcing her to ‘bum shuffle’ with her on her lap. She says it’s a ‘degrading’ daily routine.

Katie says she’s had to keep putting off her hip operation as she would be left bed bound and unable to move home at short notice if a suitable property did become available.

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Katie Collins at her house in Swinton, where she lives with her three kids, one of whom has complex medical needs. She has been in temporary accommodation for two years and desperately needs a bigger house with the proper adaptations to look after her daughter.  Credit: Manchester Evening NewsKatie Collins at her house in Swinton, where she lives with her three kids, one of whom has complex medical needs. She has been in temporary accommodation for two years and desperately needs a bigger house with the proper adaptations to look after her daughter.  Credit: Manchester Evening News
Katie Collins at her house in Swinton, where she lives with her three kids, one of whom has complex medical needs. She has been in temporary accommodation for two years and desperately needs a bigger house with the proper adaptations to look after her daughter. Credit: Manchester Evening News | Manchester Evening News

The family wants a bigger home with a downstairs bedroom in the Swinton area which is near loved ones, but because of their medical needs, Katie says the council won’t allow them to bid for properties.

They’ve been assessed as needing a bungalow with four bedrooms – a type of property which is in short supply.

The situation has left Katie feeling ‘let down’ by Salford council. Ms Collins said: “It’s affecting my life so much, it’s really difficult hearing the kids say they hate living here, it’s so stressful to me as a mum not being able to give them stability.

“I’ve been in tears with the temporary housing officer for hours on the phone. I’m having to put my whole life on hold.

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“This place doesn’t feel like home. Every parent wants to spoil their kids at Christmas, I have to explain to mine that they won’t get much at Christmas because we just don’t have the space.”

She said her children are ‘not coping well at all’ and that the lack of space has made it difficult for her daughters to relax or have space to focus on their studies.

Housing is a major issue in Salford, as the city is dealing with a growing number of people presenting as homeless.

Salford’s mayor has pledged to build hundreds of new council houses, but despite this the council’s services are under strain, with further pressures from a shrinking budget which gets smaller every year.

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For some Salford families, that could mean waiting for several years before finding a suitable home.

A spokesperson for Salford City Council, said: “We appreciate the concern of those individuals facing housing challenges in our community.

“While we strive to support and assist all residents in need, our policy is not to comment on individual cases. Please be assured that we take all situations seriously and work diligently to address them appropriately.

“We understand families’ difficulties when seeking suitable housing, especially when faced with complex medical needs. Rest assured, we are committed to doing everything within our power to assist those in need of housing support.”

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