There will be no more nights sleeping in a Ford Mondeo for a couple who have finally been handed the keys to a council house after waiting seven months.

Aram Sarbir and his wife Shahla Qadir spent more than half a year living in their car and on friends' sofas while waiting for a property promised to them in March to become available.

Now, days after their plight was first reported in this newspaper, the couple have been handed the keys to their home.

Mr Sarbir, 47, said: "I'm really good, I got my keys and signed the paperwork on Friday last week.

"My wife is so happy now and my daughter will finally be able to come and stay with me.

"My wife and I don't have to sleep in a car anymore, we're all very happy now."

Eastern Daily Press: Aram Sarbir and Shahla Qadir lived in their car for seven monthsAram Sarbir and Shahla Qadir lived in their car for seven months (Image: Denise Bradley/Archant 2022)

Mr Sarbir has been unable to see much of his daughter from a previous relationship since he and his partner became effectively homeless earlier this year. But with a place for her to stay, she will now be able to visit.

"If we hadn't had help [from the media] I don't think we would have got it so soon. It was a long time we were waiting," he added.

"I'm painting the bedroom and the living room now with help from my friend."

The Green group's Jamie Osborn, who raised the couple's predicament with council officers, said he was pleased for Mr Sarbir and his family.

"But it is unacceptable that it has taken seven months for the city council to hand over the keys after they promised to house this family," he said.

"The Labour-run council have questions to answer over this scandal. I have called for the council to investigate and publicly acknowledge how many other people are being left homeless because of the backlog in repairs to council housing.

"And the council have to tell us how they intend to resolve their backlog and make sure that housing is available for those who need it."

Norwich City Council was contacted but declined to comment.

Despite repeated requests, the council has not disclosed how many people are in a similar situation to Mr Sarbir and Ms Qardir.

The city council recently brought in extra contractors to help address a repair backlog which has created "unacceptable delays" in bringing empty council houses back into use.