A new inquiry has launched into England’s housing policies as new data shows around 10 million residents spent coronavirus lockdown in a home that represents a serious threat to their health and safety.
The Good Home Inquiry, sponsored by the Centre for Ageing Better, will explore the causes, and solutions to, poor quality housing in the country.
It will be chaired by David Orr, former chief executive of the National Housing Federation and chair of Clarion Housing Association.
Data from social researcher NatCen suggested that around 1.8 million adults in England are living in damp and/or cold housing, with more than one in 10 (13%) 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 the virus.
Meanwhile analysis by the Centre for Ageing Better shows that 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.
David Orr said: “Too many people in the UK are living in homes that are unsuitable for their needs and dangerous to their health. Poor housing policies have created a crisis where there is a lack of decent, accessible and affordable housing in this country.”
Past and present government housing policies will be reviewed as part of the inquiry to determine the causes of the country’s deficit in affordable, accessible and decent homes.
Learnings from policy research will then be used to make evidence-based recommendations for new and amended housing policies that would make it easier to upgrade, maintain and improve our homes.