Sheffield family say they have been battling to move home following repeated racist abuse from neighbours

A family living in fear following repeated racist attacks from neighbours say they have been pleading with Sheffield Council to move home for years.

Friday, 5th February 2021, 4:45 pm

A student living with their mother, father and siblings, in a council property in Fox Hill, has tried to move their family to a safer home amid an “unbearable amount of suffering”.

The student, who has chosen to remain anonymous, says they have endured repeated damage to their car, stones thrown at their home, false accusations of fly tipping, verbal abuse and physical attacks created a toxic environment and exhausted their financial situation.

They say it has had a severe impact on their mental health and as a result they avoid walking around the neighbourhood or local park, confining themselves to the home.

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“I’m always stressed. Whenever I hear a sound outside it just stresses me out, I think it’s someone trying to damage something – it keeps me awake,” they said.

The tenant said the abusive remarks shouted at their family included: “You are dirty, disgusting people”, “why are you here” and “why can’t your mother speak English”.

One neighbour has constantly monitored their movements, often shouting and swearing outside the home, and tried to rally others to make them leave.

Incidents were reported to South Yorkshire Police and in a report David Cattell, of Parson Cross Neighbourhood Team, said: “I personally would recommend for [them] to move out of the area as there is potential for [them] to suffer criminal damage and may lead on to someone being assaulted on the next occasion.”

A ‘priority award’ request was submitted to the council to move home.

The council offered one alternative property but the family said it was “very terrible” with no bids and unsuitable due to the condition of the house and state of the area.

Councillor Paul Wood, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and community safety, said: “We have already offered an alternative ‘priority award’ housing option which was declined by the family. We have investigated their situation thoroughly and are keen to resolve any issues. We are happy to continue to look at the available options if the person on the tenancy agreement for this property asks us to do so.”

The tenants said they disagreed with this statement and the council had not supported them.

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