Housing problems have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic with cold, damp and noise which are the most problematic issues for residents.
A new study by the home improvement company Kingfisher plc, owner of B & Q.found that around 9.5 million people in the UK live with significant housing problems, ranging from inadequate heating or insulation to pests and overcrowding.
The lockdown has exacerbated the problems, leaving many people “trapped” in unsuitable homes and “powerless” to do something about it, according to the survey.
The results are part of a report by kingfisher titled “ If Walls Could Talk provides steps to make home improvement accessible to all.
Thierry Garnier, General Manager of Kingfisher plc, said: “Our homes have never been more central to our lives than they have been this year.
“As people live with lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic, we spend much more time at home than usual. For people in homes they deem unsuitable, the pandemic has made the home experience worse.
“Millions of people live in homes that are too damp, too cold, or too small. We also looked at the broader effects these problems can have on their physical and mental health.
“It is very clear that these issues got worse during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Kingfisher has partnered with the Shelter charity to run a fundraiser with a £ 100,000 donation to help answer up to 10,000 calls to its emergency numbers across the UK.
Polly Neate, General Manager of Shelter, said: “This pandemic has brutally exposed the depths of our housing emergency.
“Right now, our frontline services are in tremendous demand due to housing problems exacerbated by the devastating effects of Covid-19.
“It is difficult enough dealing with daily life with problems like moisture, cold, and even rats, much less during a global health crisis when your home is your only refuge.
“We know all too well the detrimental effects an unsafe home can have on the mental and physical health of people, especially children. We are incredibly grateful for the continued support from Kingfisher, which will help us be there for the people who need us this winter – and in the months to come. “