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Family 'Told They Have too Many Children'
7:04am 16th January 2013
(Updated 7:04am 16th January 2013)
A Bodmin couple with eight children claim they have been told they cannot have a bigger house, because their family is too big.
Andrew and Susan Dowling live with their children in a small three bedroom house in Nanstallon.
The youngest is seven months and the oldest is seventeen.
But, despite constant applications for a bigger place with an extra bedroom, the pair say they are being turned down by the council.
They claim one advisor told them it was because they had too many children.
Susan says daily life is cramped and pressured and especially hard for one of her children, who is autistic: "He needs his own little space because he gets frustrated but he has no room to do that here. So he takes it out on his younger siblings which is unfair. It's not his fault he has a problem. But at the end of the day we struggle and we manage as we are, but we shouldn't have to struggle."
Andrew feels they are being penalised despite both having jobs: "It's upset me so much because they know the conditions that we are in and it'sreally infuriating to be told by an anonymous person on the other end of the telephone we are not going to help you because you had so many children."
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In a statement the council said: "Cornwall Housing is unable to discuss individual cases.
"Homechoice works by assessing the housing need of the applicant and then gives opportunities for the applicant to 'bid' on suitable social housing throughout Cornwall.
"Generally, Homechoice applicants in the most urgent need for housing have the best chance of bidding successfully for social housing to rent. Unfortunately the demand for social housing is far greater than the supply in Cornwall and any housing vacancy will be allocated to the bidder in the most housing need. Added to this is a particular lack of accommodation available for larger families - there is a shortage of properties even for cases which have been assessed as Band A or B on the Homechoice register."
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