A GRANDMA claims that she is forced to sleep on bare floors because of bizzare council rules. 

Danielle Spencer, 41, said she had to sleep on a blow up mattress while struggling to keep warm at the property in Preston, Lancs.

The mum-of-two lives at the home with her two daughters, 17 and 12, as well as her grandson, four. 

She was forced out of her former home after it was destroyed by a fire, and moved into the house run by Progress Housing Group.

Their policy demands that social housing tenants rip up carpets and floorboards when they move out, giving new tenants a blank slate. 

Progress Housing Group claim that they offer “lots of support” to those moving in, but campaigners are asking for them to change the policy. 


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Danielle told the BBC:  "I'm walking round and I can't even take my shoes off.

"I lost all my possessions in the fire, so I'm having to use an airbed. There's no carpet underneath so it's only a matter of time until it's going to pop.

"With energy prices rising it costs an absolute fortune, I’m worried I’ll end up in debt.

“I worry about how I'm going to make it a home."

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She added that she is concerned about how it will affect her children and grandchildren, and is struggling to heat her home.

Another social housing tenant, who did not want to be identified said her family was also living with no floor coverings.

She lost her job earlier in the coronavirus pandemic and had struggled to find money for new carpets or any organisations to help provide them.

Crisis schemes, run by local authorities, can provide support with furniture but only a few provide carpets or floorboards.

Sarah Dillingham, from Hertfordshire, was also todl to remove the carpets while clearing her late mum’s new carpets. 

She said she asked the housing officer if the carpets could remain for the next tenant, but was told she would be fined if she left them in.

Sarah said: "I was absolutely dumbstruck, itt just seemed so wasteful.

"It beggars belief that people are having to live in properties with bare floors, when people are willing to leave them if they are wanted.

Some charities offer support to buy carpets, but they can struggle to cope with demand.

End Furniture Poverty, a campaign group which is urging social landlords to rethink the policy of stripping carpets, said flooring was an "essential item".

Head of policy, Claire Donovan, said: "They say it is because the flooring is dirty, or it may contain fleas if the previous tenants had pets, but in these cases it could be cleaned.

"Sadly it is quicker and cheaper to rip out the flooring rather than clean it.

"We urge social landlords to stop this at once and start thinking about the social and environmental cost.”

Progress Housing Group executive director, Tammy Bradley, said "predominantly floor coverings would be provided in kitchens and bathrooms only", but "on occasion, we do agree for floor coverings to be left".

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The company also offers  further support to tenants, including referrals to charities and help with employment or fleeing domestic violence.

Tammy added: "Even in these situations when we come to do the property works, there may be cause to take up the flooring for various reasons."

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