Cardiff family of four living in a one-bedroom property
Ted Peskett, Local Democracy Reporter
A mother has opened up on the struggle of living in a one-bedroom property with her family of four.
Armida Camilleri, who currently lives in a one-bedroom flat on Poplar Road in Fairwater, said she shares the social housing property with her partner, Michael, daughter, Ariana, and six-month-old son, Theo.
Mother of two Armida said Ariana, 11, has been living with them and sleeping on the living room sofa since October last year.
Armida claimed that despite living in a one-bedroom property with three others, she had only been offered a two-bedroom property as a replacement.
“There are couples and they are living in 3 – 4-bedroom houses and then there are four of us stuck in a one-bedroom flat. No, it’s not right,” said Armida.
When Armida moved into her current home in December 2020, she was the sole tenant.
Cardiff Council has also said that she has now been assessed as needing a three-bedroom property.
Armida also said that the state of her current property is having an impact on her and her family.
She said the issues affecting her property, including mold, damp and cracks, started in the summer.
She said: “The shower is constantly blocked. I have had the neighbours underneath constantly slamming and banging.
“It is just damp and mold everywhere. It keeps on coming back. They keep on coming out and they are saying ‘yeah, but it is sorted’.
“It might be sorted, but it is only temporary. Give it two or three weeks and it is back again.”
Armida added that a hole appeared in the kitchen ceiling at one point. The living room ceiling was also affected by a “massive crack”.
On how the issues have been affecting her and her family, Ariana said: “I don’t want to go out, then I don’t want to stay in.
“It is affecting my mental health. It is getting me down.
“My daughter is at that age now where she is getting a bit cheeky.
“At times like this, if she is moody, she needs to have her own bedroom to go in and have a little tantrum in there, out of the way.”
Cardiff Council said their repairs team has completed works to treat reports of damp and mold at the current property on three occasions.
The property is currently undergoing planned roof maintenance and Armida has reported some damage to the kitchen ceiling which the council said will be attended to within the approved timescale.
A Cardiff Council spokesperson said: “Cardiff, like many other cities in the UK, is facing unprecedented levels of demand for housing.
“There are currently severe pressures on social housing, combined with additional pressures on supply within the private rented market.
“Unfortunately, while we are doing everything we can to help alleviate these pressures, there are currently more than 8,200 households on the housing waiting list and 516 families in temporary accommodation.
“Following a change in her circumstances, Ms Camilleri has been assessed as requiring a three-bedroom property.
“Unfortunately, even when a family’s needs change and they require a bigger home, any move will depend on a suitable property becoming available, which can take some time.
“In the meantime, we understand the difficulties this can cause families and are working hard to increase availability of more affordable homes, including larger family homes.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.