Inquiry into the state of housing to explore why so many are unsuitable for older & disabled people
A new independent inquiry examining housing in England has launched after data found almost 10 million people spent the coronavirus lockdown in a home that seriously threatened their health and safety.
Sponsored by the Centre for Ageing Better, the Good Home Inquiry will be chaired by David Orr CBE, former Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation and Chair of Clarion Housing Association.
The focus of the inquiry will be to explore why so many are in poor condition, hazardous to health and unsuitable for people who are older and disabled, as well as how to raise standards.
It comes as new data from social researchers NatCen has suggested that around 1.8 million adults in England are living in damp and/or cold housing, with more than one in ten (13 per cent) of these residents having a heart or respiratory condition which could have been caused or made worse by their poor living conditions.
This puts them in the government’s ‘at risk’ category for COVID-19, making them clinically vulnerable to coronavirus, with over half (53%) aged over 50.
In addition, analysis by the Centre for Ageing Better revealed more than 4.3 million homes in England – lived in by around 10 million people – don’t meet basic standards of decency, most commonly because of the presence of a serious hazard to their occupants’ health or safety.
Figures from the English Housing Survey last week further painted a picture of England’s run-down homes, with one in ten over-60s who live alone disclosing that they struggle to heat their homes.
Worryingly, recent data also exposed how many older people with mobility issues and disabled people are living in homes described as “overwhelmingly unsuitable”, with just 10 per cent of England’s housing stock meeting basic standards of accessibility.
“As the data shows, this inquiry couldn’t have come sooner,” commented Anna Dixon, Chief Executive for the Centre for Ageing Better.
“Our homes are vital to our wellbeing and quality of life yet far too many of us are living in homes unsuitable to our needs and potentially damaging to our health – this needs to change.
“The Good Home Inquiry will be doing vital work examining how past and current policies have caused the current housing crisis and will push for change and action to ensure more people live in a safe and accessible home in future.”
According to the Centre for Ageing Better, the inquiry will take a fresh look at how to tackle England’s housing crisis, improve the quality of homes and respond to the rapidly changing age profile of the population.
In particular, recommendations will be targeted not just at policymakers but also housing providers, homeowners, landlords and others aimed at making it easier to upgrade, maintain and improve homes across the country, as well as to build good-quality homes that are fit for the future.
The Good Home Inquiry is expected to report initial ideas for policy reforms early next year, underpinned by major research into past and present national housing policies, as well as research to understand the experiences of people living in poor-quality housing.
David Orr, Chair of the inquiry, said: “Too many people in the UK are living in homes that are unsuitable for their needs and dangerous to their health. For decades, poor housing policies have created this crisis where there is a lack of decent, accessible and affordable housing in this country.
“With an ageing population, our homes need to be accessible and suitable for all ages and abilities.”
He finished: “This inquiry will be a driver for change and action to ensure our homes are high quality, affordable and safe.”https://thiis.co.uk/inquiry-into-the-state-of-housing-to-explore-why-so-many-are-unsuitable-for-older-disabled-people/https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/housing-inquiry-good-home-england.jpg?fit=900%2C500&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/housing-inquiry-good-home-england.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Coronavirus NewsCOVID-19 Sector NewsGovernment & Local AuthoritiesHousingNewsroomSector NewsThird SectorAnna Dixon,Centre for Ageing Better,Clarion Housing Association,coronavirus,David Orr CBE,England,English Housing Survey,lockdown,National Housing Federation,The Good Home InquiryA new independent inquiry examining housing in England has launched after data found almost 10 million people spent the coronavirus lockdown in a home that seriously threatened their health and safety. Sponsored by the Centre for Ageing Better, the Good Home Inquiry will be chaired by David Orr CBE, former...Calvin BarnettCalvin Barnettcalvin@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine