Charlene speaks to ITV News about living in a Travelodge with three children
A mother who has been living in a Travelodge for months with her three children has hit out at the lack of housing in Cornwall.
Charlene Pascoe and her family were left with nowhere to go after being evicted from their rental property when the landlord decided to move back in.
They have now been staying in a hotel room in St Austell for 15 weeks.
Charlene, 12-year-old Freya, 10-year-old Kieran and one-year-old Darcy, have had to rely on their family and friends in St Austell for meals and play time away from their Travelodge room.
Charlene said: “Somebody said to me at the beginning 'look at it like a holiday' - it’s most certainly not a holiday."
The family have a kettle and an electric cool box, but no fridge or anywhere to cook.
"It’s absolutely ludicrous," Charlene said. "It’s heartbreaking to think that me and my children are sat in a hotel room."
Charlene told ITV News there are hardly any properties available to rent in Cornwall, with "nothing" available in her price range.
"You’re talking over £1,000 a month for a three-bedroom house," she said. "I’ve not got that kind of money.
"I work, but I won’t be able to afford over £1,000 a month for rent. It’s difficult.”
Every week Charlene bids for houses through Cornwall Council’s Homechoice website, but she said nothing ever comes up in her area.
Widening the search area would mean Freya and Kieran having to move schools.
She said: "Why should they be punished because we can’t find a house anywhere?"
In May, Charlene and her family were one of 665 Cornwall households in temporary accommodation - an increase of 117 households in a year.
There are thousands more on the waiting list for a house.
Cornwall Council's cabinet member for housing and planning Councillor Olly Monk said those households equate to around 1,500 people. Many of those are children.
"Obviously, it’s not a good situation," he said. "The rise that we’ve seen is due mainly to the private rental sector exiting that market and moving into the more lucrative holiday market or simply selling up.”
He says demand is by far outstripping the supply of available properties, with the council buying modular homes, private homes and building houses to try to help as many people as possible in need.
He said: “Until the council owns more and more properties to put people in, we’ll see a continued demand on this system.
"We’re doing everything we can to ramp up the provision of temporary and emergency accommodation in the areas where people live, we’re seeing people we haven’t got anywhere near they want to live.
"Cornwall Council are in a bit of a bind, we can only do so much with the resources we’ve got."
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