Charities call for government action to halve number of unsafe UK homes

By Staff
3 Min Read

A coalition of nine charities has initiated the Safe Homes Now campaign, calling on the government to take urgent action to address the issue of dangerous homes in the UK.

The campaign aims to halve the 3.7 million “unsafe” homes over the next decade, emphasising the detrimental impact on inhabitants’ health and well-being.

According to data analysis conducted by the Centre for Ageing Better, the majority of homes in three out of four parliamentary constituencies in England have poor energy efficiency ratings, with an Energy Performance Certificate of D or worse.

Over the past two years, more than half of individuals (54%) report experiencing increased difficulty in maintaining warmth within their homes.

Recent survey findings reveal that more than half of the public believes the government should do more to support people in ensuring their homes are in good condition.

Additionally, one in four individuals express concern about the health implications of living in substandard housing, particularly in the private rented sector.

Charity leaders stress the importance of addressing the affordability barrier to home improvement, with over half of respondents indicating cost as a major obstacle.

They advocate for the establishment of Good Home Hubs to provide comprehensive advice on repairs, adaptations and energy efficiency measures.

Henry Gregg, Director of External Affairs at Asthma + Lung UK, said: “We know that respiratory infections can thrive in colder temperatures and poorly ventilated, damp environments.

“Long term exposure to colder temperatures, damp and mould can also affect the immune response, hampering the body’s ability to fight off respiratory infections.”

Lynn Perry MBE, Chief Executive Officer of Barnardo’s, said: “Our own research showed that in the last 12 months, more than 200,000 families had seen their children’s bed or bedding getting mouldy because they couldn’t afford to put the heating on.

“This cannot be right. We need a commitment from all political parties to make sure every child grows up in a safe home.”

Dr Carole Easton, Chief Executive at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: “No one should have to live in a dangerous home that damages their health or the health of their family.

“Poor quality housing is severely damaging the health of millions of children, adults and pensioners – and incurring huge healthcare costs and putting enormous strain on health services.”

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