North Belfast mum “at breaking point” and “begging” for bigger home for family-of-eight


A North Belfast mum-of-seven is pleading with authorities for a bigger home after being forced to move into a two bedroom flat with her children.

Jolene Allsopp from New Lodge says she’s at “breaking point and is begging” for help.

She says she and her seven children, who range in age from 13 years old to seven months, need to be rehomed urgently.

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive has said it’s “working hard to find a solution”.

The family are currently living with Jolene’s nephew in a tower block with all nine of them crammed into the two bed flat.

Jolene, 35, told Belfast Live that despite pleading with housing officials to be relocated for several months, she feels she has had “no support”.

“We have been living here for the past seven months and it has been absolute hell,” Jolene said.

“The reason I’m here is because I had a breakdown after the birth of my baby and was also going through very personal issues.

“We’re up on the ninth floor and the kids are crawling the walls because there’s no space whatsoever. My nine-year-old boy is also autistic so it’s very tough.”



Jolene says she and her kids are living out of wash baskets and boxes due to lack of space

She added: “My two eldest daughters are sleeping on a sofa because they won’t let me take it. I sleep on the sofa some nights to let one of them into the bedroom instead.

“In one of the rooms I have a king size and a toddler bed with a double bed and cot in the other room. Then we are pulling two sofas together to make a double bed. It’s an absolute nightmare at night-time and first thing in the morning.

“I don’t sleep a wink at night and I’m on my feet all day with the kids. There’s no room to sort our clothes or anything because there’s nowhere to put in cupboards. The kids are living out of wash baskets and boxes.”

“No-one can help me or seems to be taking this seriously,” Jolene said.

“I have been phoning the Housing Executive every single day but I’m getting no answers. I shouldn’t be on the ninth floor of a tower block with young children.

“There’s no normality or stability for my children in this situation or any routine that I can get into in this tiny flat, which is freezing and damp as well.”

A spokesperson for the Housing Executive said: “Our staff have been working hard to find a housing solution in this case and will continue to do so.

“The family has a high level of housing points, however, they are on the waiting list for an area of very high housing demand and low housing turnover.

“Also, the specific type of property required is not available in that area.

“Offers of temporary accommodation have been declined.”

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