A couple living in a third floor flat with newborn triplets say their housing association has failed to help them.

Jon Houghton, 30, and his partner Chloe Collins, 28, live with their five children in total who are all aged under five, in a tower block in The Brow, Watford.

Their two bedroom flat is on the third floor, 52 steps up, with no lift and Jon says they feel "dreadful" as their living situation is badly affecting their day-to-day life.

With very limited space in the flat, Jon explains that their triplets, now six weeks old, have had to share one cot and their four-year-old son has to eat dinner on the table in his bedroom.

Watford Observer: Jon and Chloe with their childrenJon and Chloe with their children

Chloe, who has been on maternity leave but normally works as a graphic designer, cries regularly and has not been able to leave the house for four weeks.

Jon, who runs his own window cleaning business, says their housing association, Watford Community Housing, are not taking their situation seriously.

He said: “I am losing three days a week of work and being self-employed, I have even thought about selling my business to fund private rent as the council just aren’t seeing how dangerous it is for us living here.

“We can't take our kids to school, we have newborn babies sleeping on the floor - it's a complete joke and really upsetting us now.”

Watford Observer: TripletsTriplets

Julie Wittich, interim group director of operations at Watford Community Housing, said: “We have been actively working with the family to ensure that we allocate a more suitable home to them as soon as one becomes available.

“There are currently hundreds of people seeking family-sized accommodation in Watford, so it isn’t always possible to find families suitable homes immediately.

“We work closely with residents to ensure their home is the right size for them and we offer incentives to our tenants to free up larger homes for those who need them. Later this month we are holding two events so that our customers can talk to us about how we can support them in moving to a more appropriate home.”

Watford Community Housing is a not-for-profit charitable housing association and separate from the council.

Watford Observer: Chloe with her childrenChloe with her children

Jon explained that the council’s “lack of communication” for their emergency housing situation left him feeling desperate – “it seems like to move anything along we have to either constantly ring or harass them, we have to fight every answer out of them.”

Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: "The Houghton family's story is an example of how the housing crisis is affecting real lives every single day and particularly children.

“We have worked with the family to review their situation and agree they are in need of a bigger home, which they are on the housing register for.

"Unfortunately, there are very few four-bedroom homes available to people on the register.

Watford Observer: Jon and Chloe's tripletsJon and Chloe's triplets

"In fact, in Watford last year only two four-bedroom homes came available but the number of families needing bigger homes is going up - there are at least 10 times more applicants than homes.

"On top of this, there are many families on the housing register with a host of complex needs, so it’s an incredibly challenging situation.

“We will continue to advise and support the family in any way we can and I really hope that they will soon be able to settle in a new home.”