A MOTHER and her ten-year-old son are desperate to move after witnessing a group injecting drugs in a communal area of their apartment block.

The family, who wish to remain anonymous after escaping domestic violence, were housed in York Road, Southend, two years ago by Estuary Housing, after being registered as homeless by Southend Council.

However, in that time the property has been broken into numerous times and has become a regular site of antisocial behaviour.

On Friday the drug taking was spotted.

The mother said: “It was horrific. We have had some bad experiences before but this was far and beyond the worst thing we’ve had to put up with. To have this sort of thing not just on your doorstep but in the place you are supposed to call home is really unsettling.

“It has been an incredibly stressful time, and I just feel trapped. My son had to spend the weekend at his grandmother’s because he was so traumatised by what he saw, and I’m having to check rooms for him before he will walk in and out of the flat.”

Despite making repeated calls to Estuary Housing and Southend Council, the family are no closer to being moved to a new, more suitable home.

The mum said: “I had a good education, went to university, and have worked with children for a long time, so I understand what sort of safeguarding measures are supposed to be in place to protect us. The situation we are in at the moment clearly falls far below that standard.

“I feel lucky in a way that I have the resources to be able to raise the issue with the authorities and know what steps to take.

A spokesman for Estuary Housing said: “Estuary takes reports of this nature extremely seriously and we are liaising with both with Essex Police and Southend Council on this matter.

“The shortage of social housing across the country restricts our ability to offer alternative accommodation as quickly as we and our residents would like. We are discussing the access arrangements for this block with residents as well as talking to the resident concerned about her housing options.”

Councillor Tony Cox, cabinet member for adults and housing claimed appropriate housing is provided. He said: “The council considers all information supplied by applicants during the housing process to ensure that any placements made are suitable for their existing and continuing needs. At all stages of the process, people are encouraged to provide supporting information regarding any needs they may have so they may be taken into consideration.

“Additionally, any homeless applicants will have an assessment carried out at their initial interview to capture any housing and support requirements that they may have.

“Through measures such as these we are confident that we are able to help people to find suitable housing.”