Overcrowding in social housing
Overcrowding in social housing

Many people contact me weekly to ask for my help with overcrowding in social housing. I’ve been contacted by one such mum and I want to share her story with you. She’s a single mum who lives in a two-bed flat with her five children.

Her children’s ages range from 16 to five months.  Three sisters aged 16, 14 and 7 all share one room and the 5-year-old and 5 month-old share another. That leaves mum having to sleep on the sofa every night. Legally this family are not classed as overcrowded. The living room is counted as a bedroom.

And it’s only legal overcrowding if children over the age of 10 are sharing and are of opposite sexes. This family have been trying to move for five years and the answer is always the same, legally they are not overcrowded. But in practice, of course they are.

Mum has told me that her 16 and 14 year olds have no space to call their own, they get no time on their own or space to do their homework. The whole family is being forced to live on top of each other.

Due to the lack of investment in social housing and lack of funding for Local Authorities, over the last 13 years under successive Tory governments, situations like this are more and more common.

Only by improving the quality and quantity of social housing can we ensure that everyone has a safe, secure place to call home.

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