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  1. ITV Report

'We don't think it's fair that we should be here': A family's struggle in overcrowded housing

In a series of special reports, ITV News is examining Britain's housing crisis.

Home ownership is slipping out of reach for many people.

The chronic shortage of affordable social housing means there are very few options available.

Many are forced to rent from private landlords, but a third of rented accommodation in England fails to meet the Decent Homes Standard.

Earlier this year Theresa May promised to breathe down the necks of local authorities to build more social housing.

In reality, many councils fail to meet the governments targets, leaving people on low incomes trapped in a situation they have no control over.

Couple Kerry and Dan sleep in a sofa bed in their living room. Credit: ITV News Central

Kerry, Dan and their three children live in a two bedroom flat on the 8th floor of a high rise block in Wednesfield, Wolverhampton.

The couple sleep on a sagging sofa bed in the living room.

Their children Corben, aged 10, and Tiaami, 7, share one bedroom. Their eldest son Tristan has his own room.

Tristan has to have his own room because he's going through transition.

Unfortunately it's not very private for him because we have to come in here for all the towels and cleaning products.

It's not ideal but we have no storage and nowhere to keep anything at the moment.

– Daniel Burke
Siblings Corben and Tiaami would like a garden to play games outside. Credit: ITV News Central

Kerry's 14-year old son from a previous relationship cannot stay over as there is simply no space.

She is frustrated with the living arrangement her family has been forced to make.

It's not having any room, sleeping on that sofa bed, with Dan, its not ideal.

We really work hard, we don't feel that it's fair, because we are paying rent.

We don't feel it's fair that we should be here.

– Kerry Horton
The family have limited storage space in their flat. Credit: ITV News Central

Their children have said they crave outside space where they can play outside.

The family bid for numerous properties in the last two and a half years - without success.

I bid on a property a few weeks ago, I spoke to the housing manager, he said there were 300 applicants on that property, and I was number 66.

I might has well have been at the end. 65 people have got to turn that property down before we even get an offer.

– Daniel Burke

Wolverhampton City Council said in a statement,

We know that is it is hugely frustrating for anyone who is living in overcrowded conditions.

Higher levels of priority are awarded to those that are severely overcrowded; however the challenge that we face is that the number of social homes becoming available for letting is reducing....

We ask all applicants to consider a range of housing options to increase their chances of finding a new home and we are now seeing more new council homes being built in the city, as well as new homes being built by registered housing providers.

– Angela Barnes, Assistant director, Housing Options

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