A wheelchair-bound mother of two has been forced to live in a garage for almost two months while waiting for permanent accommodation.

Claire Shepherd, 54, has been sleeping on a garden chair in a garage in Forest View Road, Walthamstow without a toilet or washing facilities.

Mrs Shepherd had to leave the studio flat she shared with her carer on June 13 after the property was sold following the death of the owner.

Because the pair were not offered accommodation by Waltham Forest Council, Mrs Shepherd moved into the garage she was renting for storage and her carer was forced to sleep on the floor of a friend’s house.

The former artist suffers from a number of conditions including fibromyalgia syndrome, psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis and is frequently hit by severe bouts of vomiting.

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She said the experience of living in insecurity has left her feeling “shell shocked”.

“I have to use a bowl lined with newspapers for a toilet and wash myself bit by bit because I have no shower or bath,” she said.

“I don’t feel safe sleeping in the garage. It is affecting me mentally and it’s making me jumpy to the point where you would scream if someone came around unexpectedly.

“I know it could be far worse. If I was not renting the garage I would be sleeping under a bridge. That’s the truly scary part.

“I am unhappy but hopeful that sooner or later it will get resolved. What is happening to me is systematic and is happening to a lot of other people.”

Mrs Shepherd has been unable to rely on her sons for assistance because one lives abroad and the other works full-time as well as caring for his elderly grandmother.

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Neighbours have invited the disabled mum to their homes for a shower but she is reluctant to go because if she gets sick she will be stuck there for days on end.

Although she was offered a flat by the council last week, she was unable to avail of the offer because she could not make her way to the housing office within reasonable time.

“If it’s this kind of process then I am never going to be able to get a flat because how can I get anywhere?” she said.

“I know they get lots of housing applications but I was not expecting it to be as horrendously awful as this.

“There are so many aspects to the whole process. If you are ill the only help is from volunteers.”

A spokesman for Waltham Forest Council said: “Mrs Shepherd is attending a meeting with our team today (Wednesday August 9) so that temporary accommodation can be arranged for her as soon as possible.

“The council has a duty to provide accommodation under homelessness legislation, and it is a responsibility that we take very seriously."