Tragic family told to move to different city to make way for Commonwealth Games

A homeless family torn apart by tragedy have been told by their council to move to a different city to make way for the Commonwealth Games.

Birmingham City Council confirmed last week that they were clearing out up to 20 families from their temporary accommodation, in hotels, for the duration of Birmingham 2022, if the hotels were unable to continue to provide rooms.

In a move branded 'inhumane' by charity campaigners, Fatima Abuleil and her children were told to move to Coventry from their Holiday Inn Express room on Coventry Road in Birmingham last week.

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The 46-year-old questioned the impact of moving the family to another city and away from their support network, after the family were previously engulfed in tragedy.

A fatal gas explosion tore Fatima's family apart, killing her husband and two of her five children.

Daughter Assya, now 17, was left disfigured in the blast, suffering with second and third degree burns and needing over 20 operations and a prolonged road to recovery.

In an email sent to Fatima, seen by BirminghamLive, she was told her family would need to relocate to Coventry to one of the ' sister hotels for the duration of the Commonwealth Games'.

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Fatima said relocating would cause difficulty for her and her family as it would mean moving away from her support network and her place of work.

"Suddenly I was told everyone would need to check out from the hotel on 14 July because of the Commonwealth Games," she said.

"I have two other children and I need to travel to London to do operation for my daughter- where should I leave my children?

"In a place where I don't know anyone?

"My support networks are here so I can't go far away.

She added: "It's very hard what I'm going through but I have to be strong for my children as I'm the only parent they have."

Responding to Fatima's case, local MP Jess Philips told BirminghamLive that following a call from Fatima, a member of her staff had informed the concerned mother about a shortage of temporary accommodation and council housing.

"Straight after that call I emailed housing to seek clarification on the decision making behind sending them to Coventry, and explained again that Fatima will find this very difficult, owing to the reasons we had given them previously," said Jess.

"I am not able to direct Birmingham City Council to act in a particular way and ultimately, the allocation of accommodation is determined by Birmingham City Council.

"This constituent’s case is extreme, and I will do whatever I can to support and advocate for my constituents."

A spokesman for Birmingham City Council said: "In the case of when a hotel is fully booked, we have agreed with them to move families to alternative hotels for the duration of the Games.

"We have ensured that they are provided with alternative arrangements including additional meals and support.

"In total, this relates to less than 20 families being moved to Coventry.

"However, in recognition of the disruption and uncertainty that this will have on the families affected we have been liaising with them individually."


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