Tuesday, October 26, 2021

One in five tenants’ health is damaged by poor living conditions, says Shelter

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Living conditions affect one in five renters in England, according to a new survey.

A survey of more than 3,000 private and social tenants in England, conducted by YouGov and the shelter for the homelessness charity, found that 22 percent of renters felt that poor housing conditions were damaging their physical or mental health .

The survey also found that the most common tenant problems were moisture and mold (affecting 26 percent of renters), inability to heat their homes (26 percent), difficulty paying rent (21 percent) and fear of eviction (21 percent) were cents).

Tenants who experienced one or more of these problems were three times more likely than tenants without such problems to report that their living conditions were harmful to their health.

Another shelter survey, for private renters only, found that 22 percent of people became physically ill due to their housing problems and worries.

In addition, an additional fifth of respondents said that problems negatively affected their performance at work.

Polly Neate, General Manager of Shelter, said: “The cost of poor housing goes into overburdened general practitioner offices, mental health services and lost work.

“The new housing minister must get the housing crisis under control and address one of the main causes of health problems.”

She added, “If you listen to the calls that go into our hotline, there’s no doubt that health and housing go hand in hand. Yet millions of tenants live in homes that make them sick because they are moldy, cold, priceless and extremely unsafe.

“The stress and suffering that comes with not knowing whether you can pay your rent month to month or whether you are about to be evicted is enormous.”

Ms. Neate said the government could ease pressure on tenants by providing targeted grants to clear rent arrears by reforming private rental and building more social housing.

Vicki Nash, Head of Policy, Campaigns and Public Affairs at the mental health charity Mind, said, “Everyone deserves a safe, affordable, stable, and convenient place to live, not a place where we feel ‘hopeless’ and ours worsen mental health.

“Social issues such as jobs, housing and social benefits play a major role in the country’s mental health.

“Addressing the underlying causes of poor mental health can prevent people from being pushed into poverty, enable independent living, and further reduce the need for more intensive support.”

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