Home UK Immigration Disabled refugee still homeless more than a year after brutal street attack

Disabled refugee still homeless more than a year after brutal street attack

by Editor

Author-May Bulman

disabled refugee is still living in unsuitable accommodation more than a year after he was brutally attacked in the street.

Atif al-Sharif, a Sudanese national who fled political persecution in his home country in 2010, is currently residing in a hotel in Ilford, where he is unable to shower himself due to the lack of disabled facilities.

When The Independent first reported on his situation six months ago, he had been living in a different hotel in the same area, facing similar problems.

Days after the story was published, the 43-year-old was moved to another hotel – where he said conditions were “even worse”.

He remains there more than a month later, waiting to be moved into permanent housing.

Describing his living conditions, Mr Sharif, who relies on crutches to walk, said: “I’m sharing a toilet, sharing a shower. I tried to have a shower before and I fell down. I just clean my face in the sink now.

“There is lots of noise from inside and people with drugs, smoking inside their rooms, making the alarm go off, which often wakes me up. I struggle to sleep. Often I just can’t sleep.

“No one comes to visit me. I am so far from my community. I do nothing. I stay inside. Yesterday I tried to open the curtain and it fell down.”

Mr Sharif said he had been told he would be moved into a flat on 12 August, and then that it would be by the end of the month. He added: “Nothing has changed. All these promises, they were lies. It feels like I am being punished.”

His local authority, Tower Hamlets council, said his housing application was being treated as a “high priority” but the property he had been offered was undergoing “major works”.

His housing solicitor, Simon Mullings of Edwards Duthie Shamash Solicitors, said the problems Mr Sharif faces were the symptoms of the “widespread and long term housing crisis”.

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