A FAMILY of four has been forced to live in a Travelodge for more than four months due to a lack of affordable housing.
Charlene Pascoe and her three children have been living in the hotel in St Austell, Cornwall for 15 weeks because there is "nothing" available in the price range they can afford.
Freya, 12, and her brother Kieran, 10, and baby sister Darcy, 1, have had to rely on family and friends in the are for playtime away from the hotel room.
Loved ones have also been relied on for meals as the room has no kitchen or cooking equipment.
They have a kettle and an electric cool box but no fridge.
They were evicted from their last rented home because the landlord decided to move back in.
Charlene told ITV News that there are barely any properties to rent in Cornwall and none that she can afford.
"You’re talking over £1,000 a month for a three-bedroom house.
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"I've not got that kind of money."
She also said that she bids for houses through Cornwall Council's Homechoice website but is never offered anything in the area.
The mum is not keen to move too far away as she doesn't want her kids to have to switch schools.
"Why should they be punished because we can’t find a house anywhere?", she said.
Charlene thinks the situation is "ludicrous", saying: "It’s heartbreaking to think that me and my children are sat in a hotel room."
"Somebody said to me at the beginning 'look at it like a holiday' – it’s most certainly not a holiday."
As of May this year, the family were just one of the 665 Cornwall households in temporary accommodation.
This is up by 117 compared to last year.
23,173 households are on the waiting list for a house, up from 17,443 in May 2021.
Olly Monk, Cornwall Council's cabinet member for housing and planning, said this works out at around 1500 people waiting for a home.
Many of these 1500 people are children.
"Obviously, it’s not a good situation", said Mr Monk.
"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 also blamed the fact that demand is outpacing the number of properties the council can buy.
"Until the council owns more and more properties to put people in, we’ll see a continued demand on this system.
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"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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