A WOMAN has described her five-year nightmare living in a filthy and freezing ‘temporary’ flat block in Aberystwyth, next door to a convicted child murderer.
The 59-year-old, who wanted to remain anonymous due to fearing for her safety in her own home, told the Cambrian News Ceredigion’s housing system has failed her.
She says sewage flows out of a sink in her bedroom because of blocked drains, strangers have tried to break down her door and she urinates in her bedroom because she’s too scared to use the toilets.
For a spell, Kyle Bevan – who was this month convicted of murdering two-year-old Lola James in Haverfordwest – lived with her in the nine-bedroom flat block with communal kitchens and bathrooms.
She added the noise from her neighbours continues into the early hours and her appeals for music to be turned down are ignored - while she also lives on tins of food to avoid using the kitchens and has had no heating for eight months.
She suffers with chronic and debilitating arthritis which renders her unable to work and was escaping an abusive relationship with a former partner when she appealed for temporary accommodation from Ceredigion County Council.
She is in the highest priority bracket (Band A) for social housing under the county council’s so-called ‘points system’ - which makes a judgement on how urgent providing housing is depending on the situation facing an individual or household.
When she applied to be on the register, she was told by the council she would have to wait no longer than three to six months before she was granted permanent residence of her own.
But she remains in the flat five years later. And she says the experience of living in her temporary accommodation block – run by the housing association, The Care Society – has driven her close to suicide and destroyed her mental health.
“I hate waking up in the morning, she said. “As soon as I wake up, I get out. I can’t eat here because the kitchens are so filthy.
It’s made me very depressed. I drink a lot. If I had my own home, it would be different.
“The guy who was done for killing his girlfriend’s daughter, he was living here. They don’t inform you.
“We’ve had paedophiles living here – and you don’t know that until it’s in the papers. I’ve got grandchildren!
“How would you like it if your mother, or your sister or your daughter was living in a place like this? Come and have a look!
“The council asked me if I’d been to the police about these issues but I can’t - I wouldn’t be alive in the morning if I did.
“I’ve been waiting so long. I’ve seen people come and go and get houses in six months.
“Sometimes I think about jumping out the window and the only reason I don’t is for my kids.”
County councillor for Penparcau Carl Worrall said the woman’s case was ‘heartbreaking’ and the worst he’d ever seen. He told the Cambrian News he was unaware of anyone who had been in temporary accommodation longer than the Aberystwyth-born woman.
“The stories she has told me are gut-wrenching – and I’ve known her and her family for many years,” he said. “She should not have to be going through this. Why should a women have to go to the toilet in a sink in her bedroom because she’s too scared to go to the toilet? She’s too scared to come in her own front door."
He also said the current system is outdated in Ceredigion.
The county council environmental health team visited her the morning of the Cambrian News’ visit.
A Ceredigion County Council spokesperson said: “We are unable to comment on individual cases however we can confirm that we are aware of this case and are working to resolve the current situation with those concerned.”
The Care Society had not responded by the time we went to press.