UPDATE: Family of ten handed housing ultimatum
A family of ten who twice turned down the chance to live a bigger council house have been told they have one last chance to accept a new property or they will be made homeless.
Arnold Mballe Sube and his wife Jeanne, 33, currently share their three-bedroom home in Blethcley with their eight young children.
However despite being formally offered two homes in Luton, thought to be worth between £250,000-£270,000, the couple claim they need a property with at least six double bedrooms for them to live comfortably.
They will then be required to find their own home through the private rental market.
Labour councillor Tom Shaw, who is in charge of housing at Luton borough council, revealed the family only bothered to view one property before turning down two others they were offered on paper.
He said: “A formal offer is going to be made in the next few days for another four bedroom property.
“If it’s turned down the council’s got the right to say that you are intentionally homeless please go and look after yourself in the private sector.
“We’ve got too many people waiting and other people are in all those properties now.
Mr Shaw also revealed the family have been offered to view a total of three properties, but they were instantly turned down two for being too small.
“It’s not just one, there’s three properties what they’ve been asked to view,” he said.
“They looked at one, rushed round and said it wasn’t big enough, the other two on paper they said weren’t big enough.”
The family moved to Luton from Paris in 2012 after Cameroon-born Arnold got a place on a mental health nursing course at the University of Bedfordshire.
With no available housing, they were initially given emergency accommodation in a hotel in London, funded by Luton Borough Council at a cost of £21,000 to the taxpayer.
But when a five-bedroom house in Luton freed up, the family moved in and “loved it”, according to Arnold.
However, after being evicted months later as their landlord wanted to move back in, the family temporarily moved to a “big” four bedroom one in the same area.
The three-bedroom end-terraced house where they currently live in Bletchley costs £1,278 per month which is fully covered by Luton Borough Council - costing the taxpayer £15,000 a year in rent.
But former neighbours of the family described them as “nightmare neighbours” who would regularly blare French Reggae music into the street in the early hours.
A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: “Their behaviour was dreadful, they were what you would call nightmare neighbours.
“The children would run wild and they didn’t care what the neighbours thought.
“They survived off the council, everything was paid for by them, and they loved it.”
But Arnold, who says he’s now enlisted solicitors over the problem, claims the property is not big enough for his family.
“The situation is very difficult,” he said. “The property is cramped, the living condition is bad.
“Everyone is sleeping everywhere and my wife is sleeping with the baby so I am on the sofa.
“We can’t eat as a family, we all have to eat in different parts of the house.
“When I move into social property it will still be overcrowded and it will have a detrimental effect because the rooms are very small.
“I’m not greedy at all, I want a property.”