English | Cymraeg Tel: 029 2076 5760 Connect: Twitter

Survey reveals scale of housing problems in lockdown

Shelter Cymru has launches a new campaign highlighting the extent to which people have suffered during Covid-19 lockdown in homes that do not meet their basic needs.

Online survey data released today shows how poor quality housing affects people’s health and makes it harder to avoid the virus.

The Wales-wide survey, carried out by YouGov, found that one in ten households with children – equivalent to 63,000 children across Wales – had no access to outside space, such as a private or communal garden, between March and June.

Many people have been unable to self-isolate effectively at home. Only 42 per cent of private tenants said their homes enable them to effectively self-isolate if needed.

A lack of space is affecting people’s mental health: people who expressed concerns about not having enough space in their homes were 32 per cent more likely to say their mental health deteriorated during the March-June lockdown.

Children have been among the hardest hit, with other results from the survey showing that:

  • 32 per cent of families with children experienced problems in their home during the March-June lockdown such as damp, mould, electrical hazards, and leaking roofs or windows: more than half (54 per cent) were unable to get any of the problems resolved
  • 18 per cent of families – equivalent to 114,000 children – lacked a computer or laptop, while 18 per cent of families did not have a home broadband connection. This might have prevented them from home-schooling effectively
  • An estimated 30,000 children live in homes where parents or guardians have had to choose between paying for food and paying housing costs.

Shelter Cymru is calling on all political parties to commit to increasing investment in social housebuilding. This is the most important step the Government must take, to give people real alternatives to homes that are expensive, badly designed and poorly maintained.

It argues Wales needs 20,000 social homes over the next five years that are genuinely affordable and built to high quality standards.

Head of campaigns Jennie Bibbings said:

‘Covid-19 has exposed huge inequalities in Welsh communities. Life in lockdown has been hard, but it has been much harder for some people than others. It is appalling that so many people are living in poor quality housing which is affecting their mental health and making it harder to avoid the virus.

‘Social housing has the potential to provide good-quality homes to people that are both secure and genuinely affordable. That’s why we need a new generation of Welsh social homes that give people the space and facilities they need, so they can live and work at home in a way that is healthy.

Read more about one family’s housing problems in lockdown here. Shelter Cymru has launched a petition calling for more social housing here.

Sign up to our email newsletter

Every two months we'll email you a summary of the latest news & articles on the WHQ website. Better still, if you're a fully paid up magazine subscriber, you'll get access to the latest members-only articles as well.

Sign up for the email newsletter »

Looking to advertise in our magazine?

Advertising and sponsored features are a great way to raise your profile with our readership of housing and regeneration decision makers in Wales.

Find out more »