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Housing Crisis: More than half of renters say housing situation impacting on mental and physical health


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A major housing survey shows renters under the age of 50 feel they are worst hit by the housing crisis because they live in insecure and unaffordable accommodation.

The survey shows that more than half of people said their housing situation has negative effects on their mental health, relationships and physical health. It shows 84pc of all renters feel insecure about their housing situation.

The study of 3,000 people was carried out by Uplift, a digital campaign group calling for increased public housing and security of tenure for renters. It warns of a "recipe for disaster in communities".

Of those surveyed, more than 1,300 (43.6pc) said they were living in rented accommodation, including 1,170 people living in private rental accommodation.

The data shows a generational divide, with younger people (aged 18 to 50) feeling most insecure about where they live.

It also shows women are most likely to feel they lack security - 68pc said they feel uncertainty about their accommodation, compared with 60pc of men.

Just 16.3pc of people aged between 25 and 35 said they feel secure about where they live.

Less than one-third of people under 50, including renters, homeowners and people paying off a mortgage, said they feel secure about their home.

Affordability is the key issue, with almost two-thirds (63.2pc) of renters complaining they spend more than 30pc of their income on rent.

'The People's Housing Plan' by Uplift shows 92pc of homeowners without a mortgage, and 74pc of people in public rental schemes, are among those most likely to consider their situation affordable.

"People who own their own homes, but who paid mortgages generally reported high levels of affordability, but did not feel as secure as public renters or people who owned their home outright," the report says.

"While private renters are in the worst position, people who were renting public housing feel as though their housing is very secure and affordable."

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More than 1,700 participants (57pc) in the survey said their mental health was affected by living in insecure and unaffordable housing.

"Investment in providing quality, affordable and secure public housing for people who need it will only benefit us all in the long term and will help create a flourishing, healthy, working, and educated society," the report adds.

"When so many people in Ireland are suffering from poor mental and physical health with difficult and strained family relationships, while also being unable to pursue education or career prospects because of their housing situation, we are essentially creating a recipe for disaster in our communities."

The data within the report was presented to an expert advisory panel made up of representatives from key homelessness charities and housing organisations.

It includes a number of recommendations to address the housing crisis.

The proposed solutions include the development of public housing to deliver secure and affordable homes by investing in a cost-rental model used in Denmark and Austria, where the State invests in homes for people from different income steams.

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