Mum-of-two pregnant with quadruplets in desperate plea for bigger council home

Arlene Mitchell, who is expecting four baby boys in May, said she urgently needs a bigger house for her family.

A mother of two who has fallen pregnant with four baby boys has spoken out about her worries of not being able to find a home in time for their arrival.

Arlene Mitchell and her family are on a council waiting list but a national housing shortage means their options are limited.

The 34-year-old is due to give birth to four baby boys – Ben, Noah, Harrison and Rory in less than two months’ time.

She currently lives in a two-bed house in Fauldhouse with her husband, and two children – 11-year-old Lauren and three-year-old Hunter.

After losing a baby girl during pregnancy last May, Arlene said she is delighted to welcome new additions to their family.

She told STV News: “The nurse said ‘I think there is more than one here.’ We were excited as we wanted more than one anyway.

“Then she said ‘sorry, there’s more than three.’ My husband was like ‘oh my god’.

“My legs were shaking that much she had to stop scanning me.

“My mum didn’t believe it – I had to bring her the scan!

“I think when the babies are beside me, it will all be more real.”

Naturally conceived quadruplets are incredibly rare, happening in around one in 700,000 births.

Arlene has been spending time hunting for a new home before the quadruplets are born – but she fears time is running out.

She said she not heard back regarding a timeline for getting a new home since submitting her MatB1 certificate.

She said: “There’s not much space here at the moment.

“Hunter wants to sleep in my bed as the 11-year-old is a bit difficult to share a room with. That means my husband can’t sleep there.

“We’re trying to make sure the kids are comfortable but when the four babies come, it won’t be possible.

“We also need to buy car seats, cots and buggies but we can’t because there’s nowhere to put them.

“There’s also no walking space for me to walk around after I’ve had a C-section.

“Until I get a house, how will I get the babies home from the hospital? How are they going to get out a walk? It might not even be possible to bring them home.”

Council leader Lawrence Fitzpatrick

Four local authorities in Scotland have now declared a housing emergency.

West Lothian Council say they are on the cusp of one.

Council leader Lawrence Fitzpatrick said: “I think there are many social issues related to it.

“Universal Credit is appallingly low. It’s very challenging.

“People can’t live on £85 a week. You need £120 just to get by for food and heating.

“We have 1,000 homeless cases in West Lothian, 720 temporary tenancies looking for permanency and the remainder are in bed and breakfasts.

“None of these conditions are acceptable as far as we’re concerned. Good housing, a sustainable tenancy and a place where people want to live so important for health and wellbeing, employment and getting children to the schools.

“What we need is a rethink and a proper national strategy for Scotland for housing. We need to plan five and ten years into the future.”

Housing Minister Paul McLennan said: “Scotland has led the UK in housing by delivering more than 128,000 affordable homes since 2007.

“Our long-term strategy, Housing to 2040 sets out a vision for housing in Scotland and a route map to get there. It aims to deliver – through partnership working with COSLA and Local Authorities, consistent with the Verity House Agreement, and the housing sector – our shared ambition for everyone to have a safe, good quality and affordable home that meets their needs in the place they want to be.

“We remain focused on delivering 110,000 affordable homes by 2032 and to support that we will bring forward the review scheduled for 2026-27 to 2024, which will concentrate on deliverability. We are working with the financial community in Scotland, and elsewhere, to boost private sector investment and help deliver more homes.”

A West Lothian Council spokesperson said: “Our Housing team have been in regular contact with the family, and will continue to evaluate all housing options we have and what can be done to support the family.

“We have now received official confirmation of pregnancy via the appropriate documentation, which has allowed us to start the formal process of identifying potential suitable homes for the family, when they become available.

“We hope an appropriate new home can be identified for them soon due to their exceptional circumstances, but as frequently reported to council committee, we have very limited housing stock and extremely high demand for all types of housing in West Lothian.

“In particular, larger homes, such as that required by this family, become available less frequently than smaller properties. As we advise all applicants for housing, consideration of all housing options including a wide selection of areas and other Registered Social Landlords increases their chances of being accommodated sooner.”

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