'Make your marriage work' council tells homeless mum

PUBLISHED: 08:33 27 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:15 15 June 2010

A homeless Axminster woman is fighting to find housing so she can keep her two-year-old child.

A homeless Axminster woman is fighting to find housing so she can keep her two-year-old child. Tanya Barham, 26, claims East Devon District Council will only house her and her mother, Victoria, but not her two-year-old son Kallum - as the accommodation would not be suitable.Currently living in a flat in the George Hotel with her mother, she fears she is running out of time to find somewhere stable to live and that her ex-partner will be granted custody.She alleges the council said she made herself homeless and should try to save her marriage - even though she believes it is broken beyond repair.She said: "I'm his mother and he should be with me. I've already had two miscarriages and couldn't bear to lose him. He's my world."Her mother, Victoria, said she feels as if she has let her daughter down. Suffering from spondylosis, a degenerative osteoarthritis, deafness and epilepsy, she claims disability benefits.She said: "As I receive tax credits I'm considered DSS and no landlord will take me. I moved from my tiny flat for Tanya and Kallum. "After all Tanya's being through, trying to find a home is the last thing she needs. "While married, Tanya was often on the phone in tears to me. We're just asking for some help. "Tanya wants to stay with me for the emotional support. She suffered from anorexia and, though she's better now, she still sometimes has problems eating."Also Kallum is being tested for epilepsy - and that's something I'm better able to handle because of my own experience." A spokesperson for East Devon District Council said: "As a matter of policy, we do not publicly discuss the details of individual clients."In view of what we know about this lady's circumstances, through approaches from her mother, we were not convinced that she qualified for our assistance with her housing needs."We would welcome an opportunity to talk to her directly so we can establish the exact nature of her circumstances and any previous tenancies she may have held."We can then best advise her on the housing options that may be available to her.

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