CHILDREN are being forced to sleep in a 'prison cell' like bedroom, says a mum who is at her wits end over the family’s housing situation.

Pauline and Steve Heath live in a two bedroom social home in Peartree Orchard, Bratton with their four sons and step-son, whose ages range from 15 to four.

Every morning is chaos, with children lining up to use the one bathroom and struggling to get ready for school in their bedroom, which has two sets of bunk beds.

When her 15-year-old stepson comes to stay, a camp bed is set up in the middle of the room.

Most weekend the family is split up, with some children going to family members to get them a good night’s sleep.

Mrs Heath has spent four years trying to get a bigger house, but has repeatedly been told there are not options in the Westbury area suitable for them on the Wiltshire housing register.

She wants to stay in the Westbury area so that her children can continue at the same schools.

Mrs Heath said: “It’s like a prison cell, it makes me really emotional because of the stress it causes.

“We cannot go into some three-bedroomed homes because they are not deemed big enough for us, but anything is better than what we have now.

“It’s manic when the kids getting up for school, the oldest leaves earlier but you go to wake one up and they’re all up. There’s one bathroom between all of us, bath time is never ending, they’re constantly fighting and it causes so much stress.

"I’d be happy for a three bedroomed house because then two can share one room.I know we chose to have kids but I just want them to have some space to grow up and be able to do their homework.”

The stress has made her lung disease worse and her husband lives with Crohn’s disease and is unable to work.

There are currently over 3000 families on waiting lists for houses in Wiltshire.

A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “We are working closely with this family and we are doing all we can to organise a move to more suitable accommodation as soon as possible. Some housing providers specifically state the maximum number of occupants for a property and this can be an issue for bidding for some properties.

"We understand the family wish to remain in the Bratton/Westbury area however relatively few homes for six or more persons become available in a small locality like this. However we are carrying out a further housing needs assessment which may help with success at bidding and we will continue to work with this family to resolve their housing need.”