Where's Home: The family forced to live in hotels

Credit: Luke Burns

A family say they were forced to live in hotel rooms for three years because Bristol City Council refused to house them.

Luke Burns and his wife and children moved between a dozen Premier Inns in the Bristol area and even had to welcome a new baby in a hotel room.

The family originally moved into one of the city centre hotels after they were evicted from their privately rented home.

They thought the council would house them within days but the family said they were illegally blocked from registering for housing, and after being turned down for several homelessness applications they say Bristol City Council simply refused to communicate with him.

While fighting the decision, they moved between 12 Premier Inns, looking for the cheapest daily rates, and survived on benefits and money transferred from relatives in Russia.

The Local Government Ombudsman eventually ruled in favour of the family and said they'd been "failed" by the council.

Bristol City Council was criticised for ignoring the family's appalling housing conditions, failing to accept their applications for help, and wrongly threatening to dump their belongings.

We would like to apologise for any hurt caused to the family and for any failures that led to them living in unsuitable conditions for such a long time.

Cllr Paul Smith and Cllr Helen Godwin, Bristol City Council

Luke was awarded £9,000 for the injustice but he's in the middle of another legal battle to try and recover some of the money spent on hotel rooms, which added up to £90,000.

We're looking at 2-3 years to clear the debt we incurred at this time.

Luke Burns

Luke and his family have finally been given a house in Bristol and are trying to rebuild their lives.