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Home / Latest News / Distraught parents call for changes to social housing allocation policy following daughter’s death

Distraught parents call for changes to social housing allocation policy following daughter’s death

The devastated parents of a 25-year-old woman who was found dead in her flat have called for a change in the way vulnerable single parents are housed.

Keri Matthews was found dead in her Cardiff flat on June 5.

The cause of her death is still being investigated.

Her parents Angie and Alan Matthews spoke openly to the Echo about their daughter’s life and said she had an “alcohol problem” because of suffering from depression.

But they claim her home, where she had lived for around two years, was in a block of flats which was home to other people suffering alcohol or drug issues and that this exacerbated their daughter’s problems.

Alan told how Keri had moved out of the family home five-and-a-half years ago to set up home with her boyfriend at the time.

The distraught dad, 49, said his daughter became depressed after the break-up of that relationship and moved into a hostel in Cardiff Bay before Cardiff council found her a flat in Caerau.

Keri Matthews
Keri Matthews


But they said Keri would often stay with them.

Angie, 46, said: “She couldn’t be on her own. She used to like to come here and be around people.”

The pair now want to the way in which social housing is allocated to be looked at.

“We couldn’t see sense in the council putting a single mother in housing where they knew there was trouble with drugs,” Alan said.

“Alcohol was a problem because of the depression and that flat made it worse. It didn’t help living next door to alcoholics.

“You can’t keep sweeping things under the carpet – families and the authorities. The policy of housing young vulnerable people needs to be looked at.”

He added Keri wouldn’t admit to having a problem with alcohol but said she was dependent on it.

The couple said their daughter had also been affected by a recent court case.

Angie said the pair tried to get their daughter to leave the flat and to see if she could be transferred but that Keri questioned who would choose to live there in her place.

The couple said their daughter had tried to seek medical help for the depression.

Keri grew up in Fairwater with her parents, sister Sadie and brothers Ian and Rhys and had wanted to work with animals.

South Wales Police said it is investigating the sudden and unexplained death of a 25-year-old woman and that a postmortem took place on Monday.

Police said a 35-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the death and is currently on police bail while an investigation continues.

A Cardiff council spokesman said: “When Ms Matthews moved into her property there were no known issues.

“There have since been issues of anti-social behaviour by young people in the area and referrals have been made to the police. Earlier this month we introduced a “sensitive let” policy for that block of flats because of ongoing issues relating to anti-social behaviour.

 “During the time Ms Matthews lived at the property she did not apply for re-housing or an exchange and we were not made aware of her views on the residents in the block. There were no reported issues of neighbour disputes in her block during her tenancy.

“The council provides support to young and vulnerable single parents through our tenancy support scheme and always seek to ensure that tenancies are sustainable. We will always respond to tenants requests for assistance if they feel they are having problems.”

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