Housing quality
The quality or condition of a home is one of the more direct ways in which housing can affect health


of private renters in non-decent homes rate their health as less than good, compared with 22% living in decent homes.
4.1 million
homes in England were classed as non-decent in 2018.
of private rented homes are non-decent, compared with 12% of social rented homes.
of single adults older than 60 years live in non-decent housing.

The quality or condition of a home is one of the more direct ways in which housing can affect health: a home could be cold or hard to heat, contain hazards such as fall risks or faulty wiring, or be damp and mouldy.

Studies have linked damp to a number of health problems, including respiratory issues, physical pain, and headaches, particularly affecting children. Quality and condition can also include the suitability of the home, such as whether it would be considered overcrowded for the household living there. Less obvious aspects include whether the home has access to a garden or outside space, an issue brought to the fore during the lockdown.

The charts in this section explore the relationship between housing quality and health, as well as trends and inequalities in housing quality.


Relationship between health and home quality


Owner-occupiers and private renters living in non-decent housing are more likely to report poor...


Number of households in non-decent homes by tenure


There are far fewer non-decent homes today than in the mid-2000s, although 4.1 million households...


Trends in non-decent homes by tenure


The proportion of homes classed as non-decent has improved over the past 13 years, although progress...


Inequalities in who lives in non-decent homes


Single adults and people with lower incomes are more likely to live in a non-decent home.


Proportion of properties built before 1919 by local authority


Older properties tend to have a higher proportion of non-decent homes than newer properties, and...

Explore other subtopics within Housing
Housing affordability
This relates to financial pressure caused by housing payments – for housing itself and for utilities and maintenance
Housing stability and security
This relates to how much control people have over how long they live in their homes, and how secure they feel
Multiple housing problems
This relates to the ways in which problems with housing quality, security and affordability often coexist

Explore the topics

Health inequalities

Money and resources





Neighbourhoods and surroundings

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Family, friends and community

Coming soon

This is part of Evidence hub: What drives health inequalities?

Data, insights and analysis exploring how the circumstances in which we live shape our health
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