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  • 19.7% of households  with the lowest incomes lived in non-decent housing in 2020, compared with 10.9% of households with the highest incomes.
  • Single adults were most likely to live in non-decent housing.

Non-decent housing can directly affect a person’s health. For instance, poor insulation can lead to cold and damp homes, which are associated with a range of health problems. A non-decent home can also have hazards that can cause injuries, such as faulty wiring or trip hazards.

The charts show the proportion of households in England living in non-decent homes in 2020, grouped by demographics. Non-decent homes are those with a hazard of immediate threat to a person’s health, not in a reasonable state of repair, lacking modern facilities or not effectively insulated or heated.

In 2020, 15.1% of households in England were classed as non-decent: 

  • 19.7% of households on the lowest incomes (households in the bottom 20% of the income distribution) lived in non-decent homes, 8.8 percentage points higher than households on the highest incomes (the top 20%). 
  • 19.7% of households in poverty lived in a non-decent home, compared to 14.2% of households not in poverty. 
  • People living alone or living in a shared household (multiple adults who are not related or in a relationship) were the most likely to be living in a non-decent home.
  • Asian and black people have a higher likelihood of living in a non-decent home compared to white people. 20.7% of households with a black Household Reference Person (HRP) lived in non-decent homes, compared to only 14.9% of households whose HRP was white.
  • A similar proportion (15%) of households with disabled and non-disabled people are non-decent homes.

People living on a low income are more likely to live in a non-decent home, which poses a risk for health. This highlights how different risk factors for health can accumulate: both a low income and a non-decent home can affect health separately and often coincide.

  • Non-decent homes are defined as those with a Category 1 hazard – as assessed by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) – that are not in a reasonable state of repair, lack reasonably modern facilities or are not warm enough (do not provide a reasonable degree of thermal comfort).

Source: English Housing Survey Live Tables, Table DA3203: Decent Homes (Households); Department of Housing, Communities & Local Government, 2020.

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