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‘Millions left in dangerous homes’

Analysis reveals over 6.5 million people could still live in dangerous homes by the next parliament's end despite pledges to improve housing

More than 6.5 million people in England may remain in dangerous homes by the end of the next Parliament, according to a new analysis by the Centre for Ageing Better.

Despite commitments from both the Conservative and Labour parties to invest at least £6 billion in upgrading the least energy efficient homes, the Safe Homes Now campaign warns that this funding is insufficient to address the wider issue of hazardous housing conditions.

Currently, eight million people live in 3.7 million homes considered dangerous due to factors such as disrepair, unsanitary conditions, outdated sewage facilities, electrical or fire hazards, and failure to meet basic health and safety standards.

The Centre for Ageing Better’s analysis suggests that, even with full implementation of energy efficiency plans, the number of people in dangerous homes will only reduce to 6.6 million by 2030.

The campaign highlights that neglecting comprehensive solutions for unsafe homes may result in missed economic benefits and increased strain on health and social care services.

Fixing hazardous homes for older people alone could save the NHS and social care sector over £1.5 billion annually.

Research by the cross-party think tank Demos, in collaboration with the Centre for Ageing Better and supported by Dunhill Medical Trust, estimates that broader investment in home improvement could bring £5.9 billion in health benefits and assist 3.1 million people each year.

Dr Carole Easton OBE, Chief Executive at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: “In this country we have some of poorest quality homes in terms of energy efficiency in all of Western Europe.

“Such is the poor state of the nation’s housing, the level of investment promised in Labour and Conservative election manifestoes is unlikely to repair all cold homes within the next five years to a sufficiently high standard.

This risks leaving many people continuing to endure the likelihood of their home harming their health.

“And no national political party has committed to invest in improving the safety of homes beyond making them more energy efficient, despite the huge threat that poor-quality housing poses to the nation’s health.

“Tackling poor quality existing homes should be a high priority for the next government, and is as important as the new ones that will be built in the next parliament.

“This is not just a housing issue, it is a critical electoral issue in terms of improving the nation’s health, boosting the economy and tackling climate change.”

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