I've been trapped in my house for NINE YEARS after row over a ramp – I can't remember the last time I went outside

A DISABLED mum has been stuck inside her home for NINE years and is now planning to sue her association after the row rumbling on.

Dawn Steel, 58, has used a wheelchair since 2013 when she had a knee replacement shortly after moving into her home in Solihull, Birmingham.

The mum-of-two hasn’t been able to leave the house on her own since, and became embroiled in a row with the company that manages the property.

She is forced to rely on grocery deliveries and requires an ambulance to get to any of her hospital appointments.

Dawn has asked for a wheelchair ramp to be installed outside of her home so she can get in and out on her own.

The company managingthe building, who Dawn pays £2,000 a year in property management fees, has been blamed for holding up the process.

Dawn has secured council funding for the ramp, which mean that it will not cost the company anything to get the work done.

But they have refused to sign off on the works that would stop Dawn from being stuck indoors for 24 hours a day.

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Dawn said: "I feel like a recluse in my own place,  people used to moan about being stuck in with Covid for a month or two, but try and do it for nearly nine years without seeing anybody.

"What kind of a life is that? Why should I have to move? Why should I? I bought this flat when I could walk.

Dawn has now become so fed up with the satiation that she is taking legal action and has started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a solicitor.

She is hoping to raise £1,500 to cover fees and believes the case could help others in a similar situation.

The funds will be used to pay for solicitors to investigate and try to resolve the license issue without the need for court.

Dawn is due to find out in March if her cancer has returned and said the stress of the situation has led to her feeling anxious and depressed.

She added: "It's just got worse over the years because I'm stuck in here and I don't see anyone," she went on.

"It's just one step forward and two steps back.

"Everybody else can walk out, but what about me? Physically and emotionally I'm a wreck."


Her daughter Laura believes that the issues have taken an emotional toll on her mum, who feels trapped.

She said: "She's not able to leave the place on her own. My brother bought her a mobility scooter to get her out but she's been waiting so long for them to sort the ramp out."

Shirley councillor Max McLoughlin has been involved in efforts to resolve the issue and assisted Dawn with the crowdfunding page.

He said: "They initially said some residents may be concerned it will affect the price of their flats.

"But the actual plans for it won't impact the value of the property, it won't detract from the appearance and we are signing a license agreement that it will be returned to its original condition after it is no longer needed."

"It makes no sense to me, I can't think of a logical or rational reason.

"What I've experienced before is that it can be really hard to get hold of funding and the grants for people to get this work done.

"That's where the big hurdle usually is but it seems really weird that someone would have a problem when it is costing them absolutely nothing.

"If you are in an apartment and someone has a ramp to their property, that has absolutely zero bearing on the value of your property.

"The fact that someone else lives within a wheelchair in the property isn't going to have any impact on your insurance, on your resale value or anything else."

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