A gypsy given a flat by the council is demanding a new home – claiming her culture ‘forbids’ her living in a house where someone died.
Lisa Bowden, 40, and her nine-year-old son became homeless in March when she left an abusive relationship.
Housing officials found a two-bedroom flat for them – paid for by the taxpayer – in the leafy Kent village of Stone.
But nine months on Ms Bowden says the authority has got to find her a new place because she can ”smell the death” of the previous tenant.
She has even called in a priest to bless the flat in a bid to conquer her fears.
She is now accusing Dartford Borough Council of ‘mistreating’ her and is threatening to take them to court.
Ms Bowden, who has three other children, said: “I was told I had to take the property or I’d be making myself intentionally homeless.
“I had no choice but to accept so I tried to have an open mind and stay positive.
“I even rang family members and friends to help organise to decorate when I signed the tenancy agreement.
“In my culture, as a gypsy, it’s not appropriate and is forbidden for someone to move in when someone has passed away in the property.
“I could smell the death. I organised for a priest to come in to the property with me to bless the flat.
“I feel I have been very mistreated and feel disgusted and disheartened by this ordeal.
“Why would they put me in this situation?”
Ms Bowden and her son first went to a women’s refuge before being given the flat by the council.