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Increasing the number of genuinely affordable homes that support our health has never been more important

Beth Exworth, Senior Campaigns Engagement Lead

Crisis has joined the Health Equals campaign to shape a new conversation about how the world around us, including our homes, shapes our health.

The world around us shapes our health: from homes that are affordable, warm and safe, to the clean air we need to breathe. But right now, a lack of decent, genuinely affordable homes across Britain is damaging people’s physical and mental health and putting them at greater risk of homelessness.

The cost of living crisis has exposed the precarious and unsuitable homes people are living in more than ever. Too many people are facing rents they can’t afford, meaning they are being forced to either live in poor quality homes or face homelessness.

Both options can have a significantly negative impact on our mental or physical health.

People who can’t afford decent homes are most likely to live in properties affected by damp and mould, with sometimes dire consequences for their health.

While people forced into homelessness because homes are unaffordable are at a significantly higher risk of developing physical and mental health conditions compared to the general population.

The system is broken

There has never been a more urgent need for the UK Government to redesign this broken system. Crisis predicts that 300,000 households could be homeless this year if the Government doesn’t act.

Too many people are being forced into homelessness because homes are unaffordable. We know that homelessness can be catastrophic for people’s mental and physical health. A recent survey of people experiencing homelessness found that 78% had a physical health condition, and 82% had a mental health diagnosis.

The UK Government could immediately relieve the pressure on those on the lowest incomes by raising housing benefit, so it covers the true cost of rent. This would provide a lifeline to people facing homelessness due to the cost of living crisis. However, despite rents rising at their fastest rate in 16 years, last week’s Budget saw no action.

Decent, genuinely affordable homes provide comfort and security. They are the foundation for our lives and support our mental and physical health. That’s why it’s essential for everyone in the UK to be able to access and afford a decent home and why we can’t go on like this.

We need a plan for change

We know that homelessness is solvable with the right political will.

That is why Crisis has joined the Health Equals campaign alongside 30 other organisations to shape a new conversation about how the world around us, including our homes, shapes our health.

The logos of all 31 organisations who are part of the Health Equals campaign.We want the UK Government to improve access to decent, genuinely affordable homes so that everyone across the UK has the benefit of this essential building block for good health.

Together, we're calling on the UK Government to:

  • Put in plan a clear plan to deliver genuinely affordable homes
  • Improve access to decent, genuinely affordable homes 
  • Increase housing benefit to prevent homelessness

Without this action, more and more people are at risk of being trapped in homes that are unaffordable or becoming homeless, negatively affecting mental and physical health in ways which can have dire long-term consequences.

Join the campaign

Sign up to the Health Equals mailing list and follow the campaign on social media to learn more about how you can get involved.

Check out this video that explains how factors like good-quality homes are the building blocks of health and wellbeing:


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