Shelter has called on the UK government to provide up to 90,000 quality social homes to combat the situation which has been tagged a ‘housing emergency’.
Recently, the UK government disclosed that it is spending £12bn over the next five years on affordable housing. The Welsh government said it had invested £2bn over the last Senedd term to exceed its target to deliver 20,000 new, low carbon affordable homes. The Scottish government said Scotland had “led the way across the UK with almost 100,000 affordable homes delivered since 2007 and we are committed to delivery of a further 100,000 by 2032”.
Shelter chief executive Polly Neate said: “Decades of neglect have left Britain’s housing system on its knees. A safe home is everything, yet millions don’t have one. Lives are being ruined by benefit cuts, blatant discrimination and the total failure to build social homes.”
Last month, Housing Charity, Shelter conducted a survey of 13,000 people about their home and housing experiences and combined the results with government data on homelessness to calculate that 34% of adults in Britain did not have safe or secure homes.
Based on the results, Shelter said black people were 70% more likely to be affected by housing issues or homelessness than white people, while Asian people were 50% more likely. The survey also suggested that more than half (54%) of people with a significant disability did not have a safe or secure home, compared with 30% of people without a disability; and nearly two-thirds (65%) of single mothers did not have a safe or secure home under the criteria.
The charity also found that 23% of the people it surveyed were living in homes with significant damp, mould and condensation, or cannot keep warm in winter, while one in 12 reported that they were regularly cutting back on essential items to pay their housing costs.