Overcrowded UK homes trap 1 million children

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: "Overcrowding is a huge blight on children’s lives, with devastating consequences for their health, education and future chances. It is simply unacceptable for this antiquated standard to remain in place, allowing kitchens and living rooms to be considered as acceptable places for children to sleep.

"After six years in which the Government has failed to keep its promise, we urgently need a uniform statutory standard for England which delivers a modern understanding of space and privacy, together with significant resources to end this hidden part of our housing crisis.

"Investment in health and education is a false economy if children are being brought up in cramped conditions, more vulnerable to health problems and unable to find space to do their homework."

Part of the Government’s defence for failing to update the standard is that it has provided £15million over three years to support local authorities to tackle overcrowding. Yet this equates to only £32 a year for each overcrowded family in the social rented sector.

The Government response also highlighted its commitment to ensure that a third of new affordable homes over the next year have three or more bedrooms.

But Shelter is warning that with house building at its lowest level since 1946 and less than a quarter (23%) of affordable homes built last year being family-sized, this target could take much longer to achieve.

Robb concluded: "Shelter is calling on all political parties to make tackling overcrowding a priority in the next parliament. This means urgently updating the standard, delivering significantly more family-sized homes, and increasing funding to stop the terrible impact overcrowding has on children’s lives."

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2 thoughts on “Overcrowded UK homes trap 1 million children

  1. Major Landlord

    Are you as sick as I am of this out-of-control government’s broken promises and farcical inefficiency? It seems they will make any promise if they think it will win votes, but there’s no follow-through because they don’t actually care.

    Last week, one of my LHA claimant tenants (young couple with baby) were told by Richmond Council that they could not move from one of my one-bed houses to one of my two-bed houses, and that they would have to sleep in the lounge! That’s in stark contradiction of the information on the LHA website which clearly states that every adult or couple is entitled to a bedroom, and so is the first child. I have given them copies of the relevant documents, and told them to go back and demand their rightful entitlement.

    What hope have we of solving this problem if councils tell deliberate lies, and the goverment stands by and does nothing, while the very rules that were designed to stop overcrowding are flouted?

    It’s little wonder, after 13 years of Labour lies and PR spin, that nobody trusts politicians any more. And that all politicians and parties now think they can say what they like, and get away with it. Labour’s legacy of the past 13 years is to destroy all public trust in government and politics.

  2. claire higgins

    me and my partner live in a 1 bedroom flat with our 3 children,2 boys aged 8 and 2 and our baby girl aged 6 weeks,we dont seem to be getting any help

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