Homeless families being housed in a north London Travelodge are due to be moved out when Beyoncé concerts begin at the end of the month after the local council failed to extend their bookings.
The Guardian understands that up to 30 families face removal from a Travelodge in Enfield and being placed in alternative temporary accommodation as their rooms have been booked by other people during Beyoncé’s Renaissance world tour in London. Beyoncé is scheduled to play five nights at the nearby Tottenham Hotspur stadium between 29 May to 4 June.
About 100 rooms, two-thirds of the hotel, are currently booked out by the local council. They are occupied by families and individuals who reported themselves homeless to Enfield council, some of whom live four or five people to one room.
The Guardian understands that the council failed to extend the bookings of 30 families ending during the concert’s run, meaning a number of them will have to leave.
Travelodge rooms can only be booked for 28 days at a time and families have previously been moved to other accommodation at short notice when the council failed to rebook before rooms were snapped up by people attending big local events. Families told the Guardian the local authority would often wait until the final day of their booking before making another one.
Families who have had to move out of the hotel temporarily say the process is incredibly disruptive. As well as having to take all of their belongings with them, they say their children ended up missing school.
The Guardian understands that Enfield council had private concerns about the impact Beyoncé’s upcoming tour could have on families being housed at the Travelodge.
Collette Collington, 42, has been living in the Enfield Travelodge since the start of the month. She lives in one room with her four-year-old daughter and two-year-old twin sons who have autism. She was told on Monday that she is being moved to a Travelodge in Hertfordshire on Thursday and will not return to Enfield until 4 June.
“I don’t sleep as it is but this news is very distressing. It’s not good for me, my mental health and for my two youngest children who need stability because of their additional needs. Every environment we go into, it takes time for them to settle in. They have to be in the same routine. It will be very distressing for them,” she said.
“It’s crazy how the council manages this, it’s like potluck,” she said.
Last Monday, she had to leave her room with all of her belongings and wait in the hotel lobby as the council had failed to extend her stay in the hotel. “It was really distressing. I suffer from anxiety so I was having a panic attack and literally just cried.” She was eventually booked into another room in the hotel on the same day.
Another family were left without anywhere to go last week after their booking ended. A mother with three children was left stranded outside the hotel with all of her belongings for almost 12 hours before being sent to a Travelodge in Hertfordshire.
A number of families have been living in the hotel for months on end, far past the six-week legal limit. Piotr Rembikowski, a wheelchair user who lost his privately rented property in a fire, spoke to the Guardian in April. He has been living in the hotel with his wife and two sons since last August.
Collington was made homeless after her private landlord increased her rent. “The biggest shock for me was coming in here and seeing all the other families. I thought I’d be the only one but then you come here and see this,” she said.
“I’m grateful that I’ve got a roof over my head but it’s cramped. Both of my sons still drink formula. I have to wash both my son’s milk bottles in the bathroom sink.
“[The council] knows I have two children with a disability and they still saw it fit to put us into a hotel.”
An Enfield council spokesperson said: “In the event that Travelodge is not able to offer rooms for individuals and families, we will do our utmost to find other suitable accommodation with as little disruption as possible.
“We recognise that hotel accommodation is not ideal for families which is why we continue to lobby for national action to address the fundamental shortfall of affordable housing.”
A Travelodge spokesperson said: “We have been working with Enfield council for many years to provide short-term accommodation. All parties understand that this is a temporary arrangement until the local authority can find a more permanent solution.
“At present we do have ample availability at our Enfield and nearby hotels for the dates in question that the council are welcome to book. Our rooms are subject to availability but we will always try our utmost to support Enfield council where we can.”