"I have no choice" Distraught single mum allocated 'filthy' council house

A Scots mum has hit out after she was allocated a "filthy" council house with rubbish piled up to the door.

Diane Gilchrist was shocked when she was shown the two-bedroom home in Hamilton with litter and broken glass across the garden, a filthy cooker and even stained mattress dumped in the bedroom.

But officers told her they couldn't remove it. The single mum-of-three said she was left in tears after being told that the flat is the only one available and if she didn't accept, it would "go to a family that really needs it".

Diane, 38, is desperate to find a home for her kids Katie, 15, Imogen, 11, who has autism, and Garry, 18, who is training to be a helicopter specialist in the Army.

But after eight months on the waiting list for emergency accommodation, the property is the only one she has been offered.

With her lease up on the 20 May, she's scared she could be stuck with the 'hell hole' flat.

She said: "My landlord is selling up so I have to move. But can't afford deposit for another private rented place. The state of the house the council has offered is disgusting.

"There's black bags filled with rubbish blocking the gas meter, it's a mess and a hazard."

"You couldn't use the cooker, it's filthy. And there's a dirty mattress in the bedroom. If it was a street it'd be cleaned up, how can they expect a family with kids to live in that? It should have been brought up to scratch to a liveable standard."

"They said they couldn't take the mattress away. But I could paint the house if I wanted to. I wasn't expecting paradise, just somewhere clean and liveable. It's a hell hole."

Diane slammed the state of the house and the council's lack of help. She added "I've been through five housing officers in eight months and the incompetence has been terrible."

With her parents in Airdrie, Diane can't get help from family. She needs to stay in the area so her daughters can carry on at their schools. Now she feels there's nowhere left to turn.

She added: "I feel lost. It's like we are at the bottom of the pile and they don't care what conditions we live in. There's no way I can have my girls in this place."

"They said I could be in temporary accommodation for up to a year. People who need help the most deserve to be treated with human decency."

A spokesperson for South Lanarkshire Council said: “The local homeless team have spoken with Ms Gilchrist today and apologised for the condition of the property, which was not up to the usual expected standards for our service.

“The team have reassured Ms Gilchrist that suitable alternative accommodation will be available prior to 20 May and we will continue to support her and her family at this difficult time.”

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