Dad forced to divide teen son and daughter’s bedroom with curtain in cramped flat


Coventry dad Simon Mansbridge, 41, has divided his teenage son and daughter’s shared bedroom with a curtain while pleading with the council to give them a larger property

Dad Simon Mansbridge has put a curtain down the middle of his teen daughter and son's bedroom
Coventry dad Simon Mansbridge has put a curtain directly down the middle of his teen daughter and son’s bedroom

A desperate dad has who put up a curtain to divide his teen son and daughter’s bedroom says living in a small two-bedroom flat is impacting the family’s mental health.

Simon Mansbridge, from Coventry, has been forced to separate the bedroom his children share to give them their privacy as he battles with the council to get a larger property.

The 41-year-old, who lives in Willenhall, with his two children and wife, claims he was told the family would qualify for a larger property after he was given full custody of his daughter Lorena three years ago.

He says in that time he has bid on Coventry City Council’s HomeFinder app every week since his children entered their teens.

Mr Mansbridge told Coventry Live : “It is very stressful because I don’t see Lorena having her own space, my son having his own space, I would say it is stressful on them as well, because they have to put up with each other .

Simon Mansbridge says his children’s mental health has been affected by having to share a room



“I’ve cut up a curtain dividing the bedroom so they can shut themselves off from each other, so yeah I have put a curtain up in the center of the bedroom dividing [it] so they can shut the curtains and have some privacy.

“But it isn’t a very big room, there’s two beds, two chest of drawers, a wardrobe, they really haven’t got a lot of space.

“My daughter at aged 14 has her monthlies and that, she needs her own space and her own privacy, when they’re getting changed, one will go into the bathroom while the other will use the bedroom, they’re having to knock the door and ask if they can come in.”

Mr Mansbridge has split the children’s room exactly in half, with his daughter Lorena deciding to decorate her side with pictures of friends, cards and Disney bedding.

While son Kerrison has painted his blue and has his Xbox, aftershaves and birthday cards hung up.

Despite having to share a bedroom Lorena continues to do well at school, while Kerrison works with his dad as a butcher in Alderman’s Green.

Mr Mansbridge added: “When I got custody of my daughter, I’ve taken court orders down to the council to show that I need a bigger property because I have custody of my daughter, it has not done anything in the way of pushing me forward for a three-bedroom property.

Simon Mansbridge claims he has been waiting for a larger house for four years



“Over the past couple of months, at weekends, my son has been going out to stay at his friend’s houses, so he has his own personal space, but other than that in the week he’s stuck at home.

“We are very stressed, limited on space with furniture, everyone’s belongings within the flat, it is a big struggle especially in the evenings when I get home.

“I’m trying to get things sorted, dinners done for everyone, getting everyone so they can sit down and relax and have their own space in the evenings.”

Simon Mansbridge lives in the two-bedroom flat with his two children and wife



Mr Mansbridge has lived in the flat for 15 years, but said that the family cannot afford a deposit for a private property: “The rent now on private properties is extortionate it is getting impossible.

“The stress of bidding on properties for three years it’s taking it toll on myself and my partner.”

A spokesperson for Coventry City Council said: “The new Homefinder scheme went live on the 13 September 2021, and since then there have been 53 three-bedroom properties let and 52 of those have gone to Band 1 – which is the highest priority band.

“We currently have 1,223 households on the scheme with a three-bedroom need and 782 are one-bedroom overcrowded.

“So there is a significant waiting list.

“We understand Mr Mansbridge’s concerns, and if he believes he should be in a different banding, then he can submit a change of circumstances form with the reasons for the change and we will assess this against the Homefinder policy.

“Alternatively he may need to consider privately renting a property to resolve his circumstances more quickly.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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