Somehow the real problem always gets lost when this paper runs a story about a family pleading for a larger house.

Debate inevitably begins about whether the family in question should have had more children when they only have a flat or house the size they do.

Generally the parents end up in the firing line; some single out the mother, others point to irresponsible fathers.

The suggestion is sometimes made that the family have done it deliberately to get a bigger house.

Read more: ‘We are really struggling’: Family of 7 living in 2 bedroom flat

In the case of this week's story at least, most people accept that nobody sets out to have triplets, so the leap from two children to five was genuinely beyond anyone's control.

And often the family in question asks why they can't be found a bigger property, as if it were that easy.

But the fact is that there just aren't that many houses with enough room for five children, or even two or three, available.

Some say couples should not have children until they have a big enough house - but that could be a long wait.

Many couples with two respectable jobs would struggle to afford most houses in Watford. Small terraces start at £300,000 or more. Add a few bedrooms and the price rises well beyond £500,000.

The private housing market is one thing, then there is the many years of selling council homes and not building new ones to take their place.

New affordable housing tends to be small flats. Finding space for larger homes is difficult, particularly on Watford's mostly brownfield land. Small to medium-sized family homes do not seem to be a priority for developers. Construction costs are high.

So there will probably be no replacements, at least until the children currently growing up in overcrowded homes are well on their way to adulthood.