Data reveals millions of vulnerable people set to spend Christmas in ‘non-decent’ homes
The analysis suggests that there are 4.3 million non-decent homes in England, almost half of which are lived in by someone over the age of 55, with a projected 15 percent of all wheelchair users live in a non-decent home.
According to organisations, the most common reason for homes to be classed as non-decent is the presence of a serious hazard which poses a risk to the occupants’ health or safety, such as excess cold or a fall hazard.
Over a million over-55s are living in a home with at least one such problem, suggests the data.
Concerning, the number of households headed up by over 75’s living in a non-decent home is also rising, with the number between 2012 to 2017 growing from 533,000 to 701,000, with more than one in five of this vulnerable demographic potentially being at risk.
Anna Dixon, Chief Executive, Centre for Ageing Better, said: “These truly shocking figures should be a wake-up call to us all. In the twenty-first century, nobody should be living in a home that puts them at risk of a dangerous fall, or is so damp it gives them breathing problems. And yet today, millions across the country are living in these appalling conditions.
“The progress made in improving the condition of our homes over the last fifty years has stalled – and in some cases even seems to be in reverse. Sadly, the number of households over 75 living in a non-decent home has risen since 2012.”
In addition to the human cost, the Centre for Ageing Better and Care & Repair England’s data and analysis indicates that the cost of poor housing to the NHS is £1.4 billion annually, with £513 million spent first year treatment costs alone for households headed by someone over 55 living in the poorest housing.
“The cost to the NHS of poor housing is staggering – but the human cost is incalculable,” added Anna.
“Unless we start to see real leadership on this issue from government and the housing sector, millions of more lives will be blighted by poor housing.”
The majority of housing in poor condition is owner-occupied, says the charities, particularly among over-55s, with 78 percent of non-decent homes headed by someone in the category.
According to the organisations, this particular demographic were those who were able to afford to buy houses as a result of changes to national housing policy and financial products in the 1970s and 80s who are now in or reaching retirement, living on or anticipating limited pensions.
As a result, they struggle to maintain or repair those homes, compounded by previous funding to address housing disrepair, such as means-tested grants for lower-income homeowners, having been withdrawn in recent years.
The figures come ahead of a report due to launch early next year on the scale of non-decent housing for over-55s.
Sue Adams, Chief Executive, Care & Repair England, said: “The prevalence of poor housing across England is shocking but it is not inevitable. Great improvements have been made to living conditions in the past and we must once again take action to tackle housing disrepair.
She added: “80 percent of the homes we will be living in by 2050 have already been built – so the condition of our existing housing stock is absolutely crucial in determining the health and quality of life for people of all ages.”
The research follows the formation of the new Housing Made for Everyone (HoME) coalition, consisting of a number of high-profile campaigning organisations working to tackle Britain’s looming hidden housing crisis.https://thiis.co.uk/data-reveals-millions-of-vulnerable-people-set-to-spend-christmas-non-decent-homes/https://i1.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/housing-10-million-poor-housing.jpg?fit=900%2C506&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/housing-10-million-poor-housing.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Government & Local AuthoritiesHousingNewsroomReports & ResearchThird Sector10 million,Anna Dixon,Care & Repair England,Centre for Ageing Better,coalition,elderly,HoME,housing,Housing Made for Everyone,NHS,non-decent home,people,vulnerableAn estimated 10 million people across England will spend this Christmas in a home classed as ‘non-decent’, according to new data analysis by the Centre for Ageing Better and Care & Repair England. The analysis suggests that there are 4.3 million non-decent homes in England, almost half of which are...Calvin BarnettCalvin Barnettcalvin@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine