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Unemployed forced into unfit homes


Thursday April 29th 2010

The recession is forcing more and more people to live in sub-standard and overcrowded housing that is often bad for their health, exposes them to increased crime levels and can resign their families to generations of poverty, a study claims.

With unemployment at a 15-year high and a massive shortage of affordable housing, many people who lose their jobs and who do not have mortgage payment protection insurance are being forced into such difficult conditions, with little chance of escaping.

The National Housing Federation has called for action to be taken to improve this inadequate housing and estimates that doing nothing will cost the UK billions of pounds a year in healthcare, crime and educational failure,

The body has calculated that the NHS spends £2.5 billion annually treating people suffering from illnesses directly linked to living in cold, damp and often dangerous homes.

It claims a further £1.8 billion a year is spent on police responses to crimes that are associated with substandard housing, such as burglary and criminal damage.

At the same time, it said overcrowded homes severely damage children's chances of doing well at school, fuelling a cycle of poverty in poorer communities.

The Federation is calling on the main political parties to tackle poor housing by protecting the housing budget after the General Election, ensuring the 840,000 affordable homes currently planned for between now and 2020 can still be built.

A record 4.5 million people are currently on housing waiting lists in England, while around 2.5 million people live in overcrowded properties.

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: "The three main political parties have pledged to protect the NHS, education and frontline policing from spending cuts - but have not promised to safeguard the housing budget.

"If the housing budget is cut and fewer affordable homes are built, millions will be condemned to living in poor housing for a generation - and will ultimately cost the taxpayer far more money in the long run."

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Copyright © Press Association 2010

If you're looking for great value, high quality Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance with added benefits you've found it.