Get involved: Send pictures, video, news and views - text NEWS SHOPPER to 80360 or email us
Bromley homeless man 'not eligible' for housing register
AT 35 years old Colin Luswata never thought he would have to spend the cold autumn nights sleeping in his car at the side of the road near Bromley police station.
But after his marriage broke down and he lost his job as a chauffeur so could not pay his rent this is the position he has found himself in.
The father-of-two has approached Bromley Council for help but he says the only thing they have come up with is telling him about a hostel in Crawley, which is about 30 miles away.
And the biomedical science graduate has been told he is not eligible to be on the housing register, although he would be entitled to housing benefit if he found a home.
Mr Luswata, formerly of Carisbrooke Road, Bromley Common, said: “I have been contemplating just ending it all to be honest.
“I have been told I’m not the council’s responsibility.
“I have never been on benefits and see where that has got me.
“I just need help now and I do not know what it takes to help a father who cares about their kids and wants to stay in their lives.
Back in 2010 he was interviewed for the job as the mayor’s chauffeur and says he would not be homeless if he had been successful.
He has been allowed to live in his ex-landlord’s loft space temporarily in exchange for doing a few odd jobs and says he will take any jobs so he can get a permanent home again.
Mr Luswata added: “With whatever money I get I want to make sure my children have a better life than I have got.”
A Bromley Council spokesman said: “We cannot discuss individual cases, but if someone does not fall into a category where we would have a duty to house them under the current legislation, we would always provide advice and assistance to help them secure accommodation for themselves.
“Thamesreach also provide an outreach service for any rough sleepers in the area to assist them.
“Across the south east we also contract with St Mungoes and St Giles to assist in acquiring private rented accommodation.”
What should be done to help people like Mr Luswata? Does the housing register need to be revised? Have your say below.