A mum of four on benefits and her 71-year-old husband say they feel “neglected” because a housing association is refusing to build them a free home extension. Whinging Nicola Philpot, 33, and pensioner Joe, say their three-bed house is becoming cramped and they want more space.

Nicola was a 15-year-old schoolgirl when she met unemployed ex-plumber Joe, then aged 54 and a divorced father-of-three. They moved in together a few days after her 16th birthday, she had their first child the following year. They moved to their present family home in Chigwell, Essex, in 2004 when they had three young children, and now have four.

Nicola does not want the older children Kody, 12, Thomas, 13, and Felicity, 16 to share rooms because Thomas is autistic and needs his own space. Four-year-old Lily Rose sleeps on a mattress in her parents’ room. She said: “We won’t move because we like it here and it would be difficult for us anyway because of my health problems.”

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