The Pandemic ‘Exacerbated’ The UK’s Unfit Housing Issues

Some 9.5 million people in the UK currently live in properties that have significant housing issues, according to a new report revealing that the coronavirus crisis has exacerbated the situation, with many residents feeling trapped in houses that are unfit for months at a time, as a result of lockdown restrictions.

The Kingfisher study found that many are living in homes that have inadequate heating or insulation, are overcrowded, have pests or are damp, cold or noisy (the three most common complaints, in fact). Some 42 per cent of residents say such housing problems are having a detrimental effect on health and wellbeing.

Commenting on the findings, chief executive of homelessness charity Shelter Polly Neate observed that the pandemic has exposed the depths of the country’s housing emergency, saying: “The importance of having a safe home has never been so important. But as this research shows, millions of people are trapped living in unfit homes – and that’s if they have a place to call home at all.”

CEO of Kingfisher Thierry Garnier made further comments, saying that the aim is to widen the conversation around unfit housing and further understanding about what can be done to tackle the problems and bring about real change.

The findings are supported by previous research from The King’s Fund and the Centre for Ageing Better, revealing that approximately 4.3 million homes in England are considered to be in a non-decent condition, putting the health and wellbeing of some ten million people at risk.

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