Shocking Shelter Findings: 1/5 Renters Face Health Issues Due to Poor Housing
After research from Shelter indicates one in five renters harmed by the quality of their homes, Housing Industry Leaders analyses how the worsening housing crisis is making millions of people sick.

The charities YouGov poll surveyed 13,268 adults, 3,197 are currently renting. OF these renters, 26 per cent claimed that their home has ‘significant mould, condensation or damp problems.

Meaning an estimated 3.8 million renters face unhealthy living conditions in privately rented and social housing accommodation.

Increasing rents and bills are leading to more evictions

These findings come as renters are to experience further difficulties with the energy crisis currently facing the UK and wider Europe, the £20 cut universal credit and shorter eviction notices coming into force next year.

Shelter’s chief executive, Polly Neate said: “Listening to the calls flooding into our helpline there is no doubt that health and housing go hand in hand. Yet, millions of renters are living in homes that make them sick because they are mouldy, cold, unaffordable and grossly insecure. The stress and suffering that comes with not knowing if you can pay your rent from month to month, or if you will face eviction are huge

The cost of poor housing is spilling out into overwhelmed GP surgeries, mental health services, and hours lost from work. The new Housing Secretary must get a grip on the housing crisis and tackle a major cause of ill health

With each of the millions of people that are affected by poor housing and high bills comes a deeply personal story. Talking to Shelter was Krystalrose, who was evicted from her flat with her young child.

Her landlord used a Section 21 eviction, which means they did not have to give a reason and Krystalrose was forced to move out through no fault of her own.

As the family were about to become homeless, the local council helped to find Kyrstalrose and her daughter another private rental, which she accepted without even seeing the property.

KrystalRose explained: “I tried to make the last place we lived in a home, but I was living on the edge the whole time. The mould ruined my daughter’s cot and we both became ill because of it. While I’m glad we’re out of there, it was stressful being evicted – we did nothing wrong.

Most landlords don’t accept people on Universal Credit, so it was hard to find another home. I thought we were going to be out on the streets. It’s made me really depressed and anxious, I’m on antidepressants because of how stressed I’ve been

In a separate poll for private renters only Shelter found these shocking statistics:

  1. 39% said their housing problems or worries left them feeling stressed or anxious
  2. 22% said their housing issues or worries made them physically sick
  3. 21% said their housing issues had negatively affected their performance at work.
As living standards decrease, mental and physical health issues increase

There are huge contrasts between tenants with mould, thermal efficiency issues and tenants without when regarding mental and physical health.

46% of people with mould issues present also have at least one issue with physical or mental health impacts, compared to 14% without.

On top of this, 44% with thermal efficiency issues compared to 15% without. There are real concerns that this percentage will widen as energy bills increase dramatically over the coming months.