4 in 10 homes in the North
West are not up to scratch
A shocking 41% of people in the North
West live in homes which fail to meet the 'Living Home Standard' a new
measure of what makes an acceptable home, developed as part of ground breaking
new research released.
Designed to be the housing equivalent of the Living Wage, the new Living Home
Standard has been developed by the public, for the public through a series of
discussion groups, workshops and surveys. For the 1st time it reveals a
measure of what the public think should have from a home in order to live,
rather than just get by.
In a landmark report, Shelter and Ipsos MORI, with support from British Gas,
asked the nation to define what makes an acceptable home. 50 years since the
housing charity was first founded, the Living Home Standard paints a unique
picture of what people need from their homes in Britain today. It is measured
through 5 criteria based on what mattered most to the public, affordability,
decent conditions, stability, space and neighbourhood. Failing 1 or more of
these criteria means the home fails to meet the standard.
The research reveals that most homes fall below the standard due to the impact
of high housing costs, with around 20% of people in the North West living in
homes which fail on affordability.
17% live in homes which fail to meet the standard because of poor conditions,
with problems including persistent pests, damp or safety hazards. And the homes
of 10% of people fail due to instability, largely driven by renters who feel
they don't have enough control over how long they can live in their home.
Shelter Manchester's service manager John Ryan said:- "At Shelter
Manchester we know all too well that a home is much more than bricks and mortar; it's a place that should allow us to live and thrive, rather than just get by.
When Shelter was founded 50 years ago, it was with the hope that one day
everyone would have access to a place they can truly call home. But the sad
truth is that every day we speak to people in North West living in homes that
just aren't up to scratch; from renting families forced to cope with poor
conditions, to all those struggling to keep up with their sky high housing
costs. Now is the time to get to grips with our housing crisis once and for all.
We're calling on the new government, alongside businesses and other charities,
to work with us to increase the number of homes that meet the Living Home
Standard. And in the meantime our expert advisers are here to help anyone
struggling with bad housing in Manchester."
British Gas has been working in partnership with Shelter for 5 years to help
improve conditions in the private rented sector.
Sarwjit Sambhi, Managing Director of UK Home at British Gas, said:- "Our
partnership has changed the lives of thousands of families but this report shows
that there is clearly more to do. Through our customers, we understand what
makes a house a home, and how important a warm and safe environment is for
everyone. As we move towards a future where technology will play a greater role
in our daily lives, the fact that many people do not even have basic levels of
safety, comfort and security is unacceptable."