Section: Health & Housing

National scandal of poor housing for over-55s revealed in new report

Posted 05.03.20
Centre for Ageing Better: Further reading

Over two million over-55s are living in a home that endangers their health or wellbeing, according to a new report by the Centre for Ageing Better and Care & Repair England.

The report into non-decent housing in England found that over 4.3 million homes in England don't meet basic standards of decency, most commonly because of the presence of a serious hazard to their occupants' health or safety.

According to the report, households headed by someone over 75 are disproportionately likely to be living in a non-decent home, and the problem has worsened for this age group. Two million households headed by someone over 65 find it difficult to heat their home.

One of the major causes of death and injury amongst older people are falls in the home, while cold homes exacerbate a range of health problems.

Although the average cost to repair these homes is estimated to be below £3,000, there are no specific policies in place to address non-decency, and previously available funding for low-income homeowners to maintain or repair their homes has been withdrawn.

The co-authors of the report are calling on the government to place this issue at the top of their agenda and act urgently to address the quality of housing stock - the people and places most at risk must, they say, be the focus of government housing policy.

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Reporting on March 2020

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