Social Welfare Lawyers in the Centre of Birmingham

Children Reprieved from Life in Tower

A young Birmingham family  have finally won their hard fought battle to be  moved out of a tower block owned by Birmingham City Council after a court was asked to consider the council’s refusal to re-house the family.

Mrs. Warsame, a single mother, was worried that her children would fall from the windows of their 9th floor flat owned by Birmingham City Council at Thames Tower, Nechells,  because they could  open the windows. She also had difficulty managing the stairs when the lifts broke down and on a previous occasion had miscarried twins following  a fall on the stairs. At times Mrs Warsame had to leave the children alone in the flat while she struggled up the stairs with her baby and shopping and this presented a double jeopardy.

The day before Mrs Warsame’s appeal was due to be heard, following a two year fight the council agreed to a court order which confirms that the family will be treated as homeless and that the council accept a legal duty to ensure that suitable alternative accommodation will be secured immediately.

The decision follows a number of cases where children have been put at risk from living in high rise flats. Earlier this month a toddler died after falling from the window of a block of flats in Bristol.

A delighted Mrs Warsame said that she had “carried on the  fight for the sake of the children”.

Her solicitor, Mike McIlvaney, a partner at Community Law Partnership, specialising in housing law said:

Councils must think carefully about continuing to leave or place young familes with children in tower blocks. It is no answer to say  that budget constraints and limited resources are to blame when young lives are at risk. The council have a moral and legal duty to consider the reasonableness of the accommodation they are providing. Anyone in a similar situation to Mrs. Warsame may wish to obtain legal advice.”