A FAMILY of eight people have been living in a 'prison-like' three bedroom council house in Highbridge for the past five months.

The family explained how the situation has impacted on their mental health, including the effects on three of their children who have SEND needs.

The three-bedroom house is attached to Wade House YMCA, and is home to Kevin Lloyd, and his wife Leanne.

Two of Kevin and Leanne's daughters are forced to share a room, as well as the three youngest boys - with the oldest of the five children staying in his own room due to his SEND needs.

Both Kevin and Leanne have been sleeping in the living room since moving into the house, giving them very little peace or privacy.

Kevin states that they are not allowed visitors, an issue which has impacted on the mental wellbeing of his wife and daughters, who all have family and friends living in Bridgwater and surrounding areas.

Leanne was utilising the YMCA Wade House communal area to escape the cramped conditions in the house, but allegedly has since been told she can only use the area between 6pm and 8pm to take the kids in there to do their homework.

"This meant she could have a break from the cramped living conditions we are living in, and get her own time away from the family that is all struggling with mental heath issues," said Kevin.

"My wife is the one that supports us all and this is very hard on her, day in and day out, so she needs to be able to talk to others and escape this at points when she cant cope herself."

The problems continue into the house's garden, which Kevin describes as "Just mud, which floods when we have rain."

The Lloyd's three support dogs have to be let out into the garden throughout the day, and as a result are transferring mud from the lawn into the house.

"The house is full of dirty smelly carpets that we have asked to be cleaned, and we have been waiting for this for over four months now," Kevin explained.

Somerset Council have been accused by the Lloyds of a lack of communication to resolve the issue.

"We don't know what is going to happen to us or how long we could be in this awful situation."

The council has since addressed the situation, explaining that no bigger properties are currently available, and maintaining that there has not been a breakdown in communication.

A spokesperson said: "Sedgemoor (then Somerset Council) have been working with this family since April 2022.  

"The eight-person family has complex housing needs. 

"We have secured some temporary accommodation, with a garden for their three large dogs. 

"At this time, Somerset Council do not have a five-bedroom house available, but are continuing to work with the family to find a suitable home for them. 

"Housing officers have been in regular communication with the family throughout their difficult time but when there are no updates and no five bedroom properties available, there is little news to update the family.

"Currently, there are 84 for applicants requiring a five-bedroom need who are registered with Homefinder Somerset."