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One in three people in Wales impacted by housing emergency

One in three people (34%) in Wales have been impacted by the housing emergency, Shelter Cymru has reported today (Wednesday 26th May).

Research conducted on behalf of Shelter Cymru shows that over a million children and adults in Wales are living in unsafe or unaffordable housing.

The news comes as Shelter Cymru launches the fight for good homes in Wales and unveils its new branding.

The research highlights issues ranging from families forced to choose between paying rent or mortgage payments and buying food, to people living in homes riddled with damp, mould and disrepair.

Findings include:

∙ Almost 1 in 10 people (9%) – an estimated over a quarter of a million people (283, 000) – have had to cut spending on household essentials like food or heating to afford rent or mortgage payments.

∙ 1 in 6 people (16%) – an estimated half a million people (504, 000) – say they cannot keep their home warm in winter.

∙ Over 1 in 10 (13%) – an estimated almost half a million people (409,000) – are living in homes that are not structurally sound or have hazards such as faulty wiring or fire risks.

∙ Just over 1 in 4 people (26%) – an estimated 819,000 people – are living in homes with significant damp, mould or condensation problems.

∙ 1 in 10 people – an estimated 315,000 people – say their housing situation is harming theirs or their family’s mental health.

Shelter Cymru is calling on politicians and parties to come together locally and nationally to build at least 20,000 new, high quality social homes; help the thousands of people priced out of renting and buying; and ensure families pushed into homelessness are not trapped in temporary accommodation, and that no-one in Wales is forced to sleep on the streets.

Ruth Power, chief executive of Shelter Cymru, said: “At Shelter Cymru, we know that home is everything. This research highlights the challenges that so many people in Wales have faced during the pandemic. But unfortunately these challenges are not new – they are longstanding problems that need bold and ambitious action to solve.

“Good homes are the foundation of all of our lives. They let people go to work every day, without worrying about what they’ll come home to. They let children thrive in school. They give us the comfort, safety and security that is vital to healthy, happy and productive lives.

“Our research shows the scale and seriousness of the housing emergency in Wales and shows that urgent action is needed. For the families foregoing food to keep roofs over their heads; for the renters threatened with eviction because Covid pushed them into unemployment; for the generation of young people for whom buying or renting their own home is an unachievable daydream – Shelter Cymru will always fight for home, and for everyone without one.”

Shelter Cymru helps thousands of people every year with free, confidential and independent advice, and it campaigns to overcome the root causes of the housing emergency. You can join its Fight for Home campaign here.

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