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Housing quality


Living in a safe, warm, dry home is essential to children's wellbeing. This indicator looks at the proportion of children (aged 0-14 years) living in a house that has a major problem with dampness or mould.

*Note: This is also a Child Poverty Related Indicator

Housing quality is intrinsically linked to other wellbeing outcomes. Living in low-quality housing makes children more likely to experience poor health. When children live in cold, damp or mouldy homes they are more likely to experience respiratory illnesses and infections. They may also be more susceptible to other preventable health conditions, such as rheumatic fever and skin infections.

Children are more likely than the general population to live in houses where heating, dampness or mould is reported as a major problem.

It is estimated that around 30,000 children are hospitalised every year from preventable, housing-related conditions like asthma, pneumonia and bronchiolitis, with hospitalisation rates peaking in winter. Young children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of poor housing, as they spend proportionally more time indoors. Children and infants are also more susceptible to indoor air pollutants, as their immune systems are still maturing.

There is a strong relationship between poor quality housing and poverty - the majority of lower-income families are living in rental accommodation which offers less security and stability and is often of poorer quality. A lack of income is a barrier to accessing quality housing, especially in the context of increasing house prices, high and increasing rental costs, and the lower quality of houses available for rent.

This indicator relates to the 'have what they need' outcome.

How will we measure this?

  • This indicator looks at the percentage of children (aged 0-17) living in a house that has a major problem with dampness or mould. The data is drawn from the Household Economic Survey.
  • This indicator will be updated annually in March.

For more information

Last updated: 
Thursday, 23 July 2020