Over 8m live in insecure unaffordable homes in England


Over 8m live in insecure unaffordable homes in England

25 Sep 2019

As per National Housing Federation reports about 8.4 m people in England are living in apprehensive, inappropriate and unaffordable homes. The housing crisis hit people of all age group. Several families are forced to live in overcrowded arrangements as they are unable to afford the rents or the mortgage. The government states housing is a priority and it delivered 430,000 affordable homes since 2010 but the research by Heriot-Watt University that made use of the data from the annual Understanding Society survey ( of more than 40,000 people ) by the University of Essex reflects the problems faced by nearly 56 million people of the country.

As per estimation, more than 3.6 million people live in overcrowded dwelling places and 2.5 m are unable to afford rents or mortgage. About 2.5 m are living in hidden places like sharing a house with parents, ex-partner or house shares, etc. Almost 1.4 m live in poor quality spaces and 400,000 are at the risk of homelessness which includes rough sleepers, those living in shelters, sofa surfers and other types of temporary accommodation. About 1.4m are living in poor quality accommodations. 

There are other issues like people are forced to live in congested spaces where the children have to share their bedroom with parents or outsiders. Some adults have to share rooms with people they do not know. In such accommodations, children do not get sufficient space and environment to study, and the older people or those with disabilities or special healthcare needs find it difficult to move around.

Several people with children and those who are single parents find it difficult to get rental accommodations as landlords are selective about the type of tenant they need. Some such people are offered moldy, humid and insecure areas. 

The government social housing waiting list continues to grow every year where the government is required to create about 340K homes each year which includes the 145K social homes, to avoid the shortage. 

Rents are too high for many accommodation seekers, and people are being pushed into debts due to growing rental rates. The government states it has been constructing more residential units in the year as compared to last years, and it took steps like banning unfair letting fees to regulate tenancy havoc. 

Some analysts claim the government should invest in housing as making unattainable targets or promoting policies have not resolved the problem of shortage. Investments can help people to have a stable life, while, the government has been making deeper cuts towards such investment since 2010. This means the country is not spending adequate to build new habitations. It is creating 30K fewer residences than previous numbers when the country was governed by Labour. The last time when it created more than 300K accommodations was in 1977 – 78. At the time, the council created about 44 percent of the new residences, but the latest figures by council find it created just over 2.5K homes.  

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