Northampton mum-of-five living in 'cramped' two-bed flat calls to be rehoused
A desperate mum facing having to turn her living room into a bedroom for her five children has issued a plea to a housing association in Northampton.
Charlotte Cousins, 28, is living with her three boys and six-month-old twin girls in Thorplands and claims Northampton Partnership Homes told her that her living conditions are not overcrowded as her one-year-old son and twin girls are not old enough to qualify for a bedroom.
The mum-of-five also wants her children's dad to move in with her so they can be a family, but she doesn't wish to over crowd her home more.
Charlotte said: "Northampton Partnership Homes has said I don't need a bedroom, I should sleep on the sofa, but I tried that and I was in so much pain.
"The main issue is moving my partner in, then I can go back to work and he can be a dad properly and we can be a family.
"There is no space in the flat, it's cramped in here, I'm trying my hardest to get everything sorted - two girls sharing with three boys is not ideal."
Charlotte, who wants to pursue a career in fitness, didn't think her and her partner could have any more children, but she unexpectantly fell pregnant with twin girls.
She added: "I really want to go back to work but I can't unless I move him in, then I'm 'purposely overcrowding' my home. It's hectic, my partner comes round to see the children in the day because he works nights.
"If he is here, I can leave him with the girls and I can do the school run without taking all of the children with me.
The mum-of-five is currently revamping the living room so she can use it as a spacious bedroom for all of the children, as the twins currently share one travel cot in Charlotte's room while the boys, Elijah, seven, Kyzar, six and Morgan, one share a tiny room.
"In an ideal world, I wouldn't be living in a council flat at all, I'm stuck in my own situation, but I need to move into a house so I can save for my own house, " she adds.
Charlotte is also concerned about fire safety in the three-storey flat block as she fears, while on her own, she would struggle to escape a blaze with her small children.
"It panics me, I'm always running around at night switching all the plugs off."
"If there was a fire in the block of flats, I wouldn't be able to get out at all, my child's bed is situated across the window."
Shirley Davies, director of housing management at Northampton Partnership Home said:
“We sympathise with Ms Cousins’ current situation and respect her desire to move homes to support her family.
"The allocations policy follows national housing legislation to determine what is known as statutory overcrowding - when there are too many people living in a home. This is done by calculating the number of people who live at home, the number of rooms for people to sleep in and the amount of space in the home. Cases of statutory overcrowding are given priority for a home.
"We have been in regular contact with the family to help and support them and visited their home to assess for overcrowding. Unfortunately, Ms Cousin’s situation is not currently classed as statutory overcrowding.
"We understand her concerns and have advised that her partner can move in with her without exceeding the limit in the housing legislation for statutory overcrowding. We are continuing to offer advice to Ms Cousin and her family on other housing options available to them, including home swapping and additional support available to the family”.