Damp, mouldy and unaffordable homes are harming a fifth of renters' health

According to a study, poor quality homes plagued by problems such as moisture, mold and unaffordable cost damage a fifth of tenants’ health.

Nineteen percent of people living in private or social rental apartments said in a survey commissioned by the Shelter charity that their housing situation is affecting their mental health or that of their family, while 11 percent say the same about their physical health – 22 percent exercise overall.

Common problems plaguing tenants were moisture and mold (26 percent of renters), inability to heat their homes (26 percent), constant difficulty paying rent (21 percent), and fear of eviction (21 percent). ).

A separate survey for shelters, which only interviewed private tenants, found that 22 percent said their housing problems or worries made them physically ill.

Another fifth said these issues had a negative impact on their job performance.

Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter, said, “The cost of poor housing goes into overstretched general practitioner offices, mental health services and lost work time.

“The new housing minister has to get the housing crisis under control and address one of the main causes of health problems.

“If you listen to the calls that flow into our hotline, there is no doubt that health and living go hand in hand.

“Yet millions of tenants live in houses that make them sick because they are moldy, cold, unaffordable and extremely unsafe.

“The stress and suffering that comes with not knowing whether you can pay your rent month to month or whether you are about to be evicted is enormous.”

She said the government can ease pressure by helping tenants clear up arrears through targeted grants and private rent reforms, but ultimately more social housing needs to be built.

Vicki Nash, Head of Policy, Campaigns and Public Affairs at Mind, said, “Everyone deserves a safe, affordable, stable, and convenient place to live, not a place where we feel ‘hopeless’ and our mental health is deteriorating.

“Social issues such as jobs, housing and social benefits play a major role in the country’s mental health.

“Addressing the underlying causes of poor mental health can prevent people from being pushed into poverty, enable independent living, and further reduce the need for more intensive support.”

Shelter hired YouGov in April to interview 3,197 adults renting private or social rental apartments.

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