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26 May 2021updated 04 Sep 2021 12:23pm

A third of adults in Britain live in unsafe and insecure housing

New data shows 57 per cent of black adults and 65 per cent of single mothers are affected by insecure housing. 

By Katharine Swindells

A third of British adults  some 17.5 million people are now impacted by the housing emergency, rising to almost half of Asian adults and 57 per cent of black adults.

The new data, published by the housing charity Shelter, is based on a survey of more than 13,000 people, conducted by YouGov. The research identified those impacted by the housing emergency as those unable to afford basic living expenses because of rent/mortgage costs; those in homes with structural faults, safety hazards or significant mould, damp or heating issues; those in homes with a severe lack of bedrooms; and those living in fear of eviction or repossession, or struggling to find a home due to discrimination.

A third of adults in Britain, and almost two-thirds of black adults, do not have a safe and secure home
Percentage of British adults who are impacted by the housing emergency, by demographic group

Single-mother households emerged as the group most likely to be impacted by the housing emergency, with two-thirds falling into at least one of the categories, compared to 37 per cent of adults in two-parent households. People with a significant disability, and gay, lesbian or bisexual adults, are also disproportionately affected.

The most common experience was cold and damp, with 15 per cent of respondents saying they couldn’t keep their home warm in the winter, and 14 per cent saying they had significant problems with mould, damp or condensation.

Affordability is also a major issue, and Shelter estimates that four million people (8 per cent) regularly have to cut back on basic living necessities, such as food and heating, in order to pay their rent or mortgage.

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