Income and ethnicity are strongly correlated with quality of living conditions, according to a report.
Overcrowding has risen across all age groups, with children and young adults by far the most likely to live in overcrowded conditions. One in eight children and one in 12 young adults live in an overcrowded home. One in five children from a low-income household have spent lockdown in an overcrowded home, compared to just 3 three per cent of children in higher-income households.
Almost one in 10 were were found to be growing up in damp conditions, while 6 per cent of children from low-income backgrounds did not have internet access in their homes.
Close to 40 per cent of under-16s from black, Asian and minority ethnic households had no garden, compared to 17 per cent of white children, the researchers found.
People aged between 16 and 24 in England were three times more likely to live in a damp home than older age groups like the over 65s and more than one-and-a-half times as likely to have no garden, or to live in a derelict or congested neighbourhood, according to research by the Resolution Foundation.
The reports authors said the scale of inequality in housing conditions was “striking and worrying” as Britain enters a reopening phase that will see many people continue to work from home, alongside the risks of further local or national lockdowns.
It found that young people have 26 square metres of living space each, compared to 50 square metres for the over-65s.
Fahmida Rahman, research and policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “Millions of children and young adults have found themselves spending far more of their time in overcrowded homes with no garden access. These problems have been particularly acute for low-income and black, Asian and minority ethnic households who experience the worst living conditions of all. And while many housing quality issues such as damp have improved over time, others – such as overcrowding – have actually got worse. This reflects decades of failure to build more homes and uphold decent standards, particularly in private rented accommodation. These divides have significant impacts on people’s wellbeing and mental health..."