Littlehampton mother and 14-month-old ‘homeless’ during coronavirus pandemic

A homeless young mother fears she could end up on the streets with her 14-month-old daughter amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Charlotte Abbley and Amelia have been sofa surfing at friends’ homes in Littlehampton for months while she tried to get council housing.

Charlotte Abbley from Littlehampton and her daughter Amelia

Charlotte Abbley from Littlehampton and her daughter Amelia

But with more people self-isolating and the Government urging people to avoid going outside to halt the spread of the disease, the 23-year-old urged the local authorities to help her now.

Speaking on Friday, she said: “Last night, we were sleeping on my friend’s floor.

“I have been walking around on the streets with my daughter until 7 or 8 at night with nowhere to go, until a friend says I can stay at theirs.

“I keep saying to social services, my daughter needs a home.

“A home isn’t a luxury, it is a priority.

“Where is the support? How can anyone allow that? I have never, ever heard of anyone homeless with a young child.”

Charlotte was living in temporary accomodation in Beaconsfield Lodge, Beaconsfield Road, Littlehampton, when she was offered a two-bedroom flat on the fourth floor of Eden Court in Gratwicke Drive.

But there was no lift, and Charlotte was still recovering from her C-Section during Amelia’s birth.

As she was not allowed to carry heavy objects, she turned down the flat, she said.

Charlotte claimed that in response, Arun District Council said this was not good enough and told her she would have to leave the temporary accomodation as she was making herself intentionally homeless by refusing it.

Around October last year she left, and the pair have been homeless since, she said.

Arun District Council said: “We are aware of the situation and we have provided assistance to Charlotte Abbley through an offer of accommodation, which she subsequently refused, however we are continuing to work with her within the confines of the COVID-19 situation.”

West Sussex County Council was approached for comment.