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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Dovercourt woman's bid to house Ukrainian family in caravan rejected

Dovercourt woman's bid to house Ukrainian family in caravan rejected

A woman said she was "shocked" to be told she could not house a family of Ukrainian refugees in her fully-furnished, heated static caravan.

Alison Bird said she wants the local authorities to reconsider and allow a refugee family to stay in her caravan

Alison Bird had offered the two-bedroom caravan in Dovercourt, Essex, to a family of four who are squatting in a single room in Turkey.

But officials said it was not suitable due to the seasonal nature of caravans and restrictions on year-round occupancy.

Ms Bird called for them to reconsider.

Meanwhile, she said she did not have the heart to tell the family because they were "so down and so desperate".

"I can't add to their worries, so before I say anything to them I'm trying to get Essex County Council to do the right thing and to say 'yes' to our caravan and to look at each individual property on its own merit," she said.

Ms Bird's caravan is double-glazed, fully heated, newly decorated and close to the local schools


Ms Bird said said she thought the caravan was "perfectly suitable".

She said it could be used all-year round, was double-glazed, fully heated, newly decorated and close to local schools.

"It would be perfect for this family," said Ms Bird.

She said she and her husband had planned to rent it out over summer but it was "far more important we house Ukrainian refugees than it is to make a bit of money from the caravan".

A spokesperson for Essex County Council and other local organisations involved in the Homes for Ukraine scheme said: "A decision has been taken as a group county-wide that due to the seasonal nature of caravans, there are restrictions on year-round occupancy and other risks which make them unsuitable housing for refugees, particularly refugee families with children."

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