Islington disability activist MBE left homeless for six months
PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 September 2016
A wheelchair-bound activist made an MBE this summer for her disability work has been homeless for six months while the council searches for an adapted house.
Isabel Munoz, 43, was given the honour for her services to disabled people and disabled access at a ceremony in June.
She was presented with her medal by Ken Olisa, the Lord Lieutenant of Greater London, who met her alongside chief executive of Islington Council Lesley Seary and mayor Cllr Kat Fletcher.
But despite being rewarded for helping others fight for disabled access in their homes, she returned that day to the Archway Premier Inn, where she has been holed up in a room since March.
“It’s a bit hypocritical,” she told the Gazette. “But I’ve known everyone [at the ceremony] for years and I’m not one to talk about having friends in high places.”
The campaigner lost the use of her legs in 2003 and has been waiting for a property since her home burned down in March. The town hall is now adapting one for her, but admitted housing in the borough is under “intense pressure” with demand “vastly outweighing” supply.
Also at the hotel is Kenny Everitt. A spinal injury put Kenny, 48, in a wheelchair earlier this year and he has since lost his job and after his marriage broke down he was left homeless.
On Friday he was told he had to move to a council “reception centre”, but his doctors have told the council it is not suitable.
An emotional Kenny told the Gazette: “I want to be reassured that where they are asking me to go is acceptable for my needs.
“I’ve lived in Islington for 40 years. It’s not right. The one time I need support I am having to fight for everything.
A town hall spokesman said: “We have been working closely with both Ms Munoz and Mr Everitt to find them suitable accommodation in properties that meet their needs.”
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