London family refusing council housing
Source: The Sun https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4448957/somali-mum-son-chose-to-be-homeless-refused-council-flats/
It is thought a death in the family and a period of hospitalisation led to the family living on the streets - but after countless offers of help from Wandsworth Council, homelessness charities and family members, they choose to stay.
Members of the local Somalian community and the local mosque have also tried to persuade the pair to take up offers of accommodation but for years they have refused.
Local people often give them food and water as they live on a pile of their belongings stacked under and around the bench.
When they sleep or it rains they can be seen completely covered under a large blue tarpaulin as they use multiple blankets for warmth. They were recently offered a two-bed flat off Tooting High Street with a newly-fitted kitchen and bathroom.
A Wandsworth Council spokesman said: “This is a very difficult and complex case involving two people who simply will not accept any of the offers of help they have received from the many different agencies and charities who have been involved in trying to find a solution to this problem.
“The council offered them two very pleasant and fully refurbished two-bedroomed flats in Tooting that they could have moved into straight away - but they turned both down without even looking at them.