Third Of British Adults ‘Do Not Have A Safe Or Secure Home’

by : Emily Brown on : 27 May 2021 18:03
Third Of British Adults 'Do Not Have A Safe Or Secure Home'PA Images

A new survey by the housing and homelessness charity Shelter has suggested that a third of British adults do not have safe or secure homes.

Based on a study of 13,000 people, Shelter determined that the government has ‘failed to build enough social homes,’ in turn forcing people into homelessness, poor-quality temporary accommodation, or to sleeping on the streets.


After asking participants about their housing experiences and combining the results with government data on homelessness, Shelter concluded that 34% of adults in Britain did not have safe or secure homes, with what was described as a ‘decade of neglect’ causing millions of people to be impacted by the UK housing crisis.

People were defined as being affected by the housing issues if they agreed with one of a series of statements relating to the number of bedrooms in the home, issues with mould, damp, heating or safety hazards, the structural integrity of the home and their experiences with findings or keeping a safe, secure and affordable home.

Shelter’s study found there were ‘inequalities’ within those effected, with the housing emergency impacting 56% of Black and 49% of Asian respondents, 40% of gay or lesbian and 49% of bisexual respondents, and 58% of single parents.


It also determined that 54% of people with a significant disability live in poor or overcrowded housing, struggle to afford homes on their income or have faced discrimination when trying to secure a home, compared to 30% of people without a disability.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said failure to resolve issues over decades has left ‘Britain’s housing system on its knees.’

She commented:


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…

Shelter believes a safe home is a human right, but the pain and desperation our frontline staff see every day shows this is still a long way off.

That’s why we are fighting for the single mum who has to put her child to bed in a room covered in mould, and the disabled man living on the twelfth floor with a broken lift. We are fighting for everyone impacted by the housing emergency – and as we emerge from the pandemic, we want the public and politicians to do the same.

In an effort to resolve some of the issues highlighted in the survey, Shelter has called on the government to build 90,000 good-quality social homes per year, with Neate saying this must be done to tackle the ‘unaffordable, unfit, unstable and discriminatory’ housing system.

A spokesperson from the Ministry of Housing said it is ‘unacceptable for people to live in unsafe accommodation,’ and said the government is ‘providing over £750 million this year alone to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping and investing over £12 billion in affordable housing’ over the next five years.


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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, Homelessness, Shelter


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