Unit 4 > Risks to health and well-being > Inadequate housing

Inadequate housing (lower immunity, stress)

Inadequate housing is housing that is in poor condition or situated in a high density area:

  • Damp – growth of moulds
  • Overcrowding – too many people to a room, reduces privacy
  • Draughty
  • Unsafe – need repairs, electrical faults
  • Unhygienic - dirty
  • Poor ventilation
  • Poor sanitation – shared washing facilities, broken taps and toilet
  • Cold – lack of heat due to cost,
  • Poor lighting – accidents, leads to poor eyesight
  • Lack of cooking facilities – not enough money to pay for gas or electricity, may be unsafe equipment e.g. gas leak or unsafe electrical connections to the cooker or microwave oven.
  • Lack of suitable storage for food – damp cupboards, no refrigerator or it may not be working or not enough money for the electricity meter.
  • Noisy – from traffic or local industry neighbourhood
  • Poor access to shops and facilities

Inadequate housing can cause:

  • Ill health – respiratory problems and  cross infection which leads to poor performance in a job, school or life in general
  • Hypothermia
  • Accidents – falls, fire
  • Food poisoning
  • Stress  - made worse by poor health and making ends meet
  • Anxiety
  • Mental health problems
  • Underachievement at school – nowhere to do homework
  • Individuals becoming victims of bullying
  • Poor relationships
  • Less opportunity in life
  • Low self esteem – lack of self worth and not valued

Young people face many challenges in the transition to adulthood but those from poor housing conditions face even further challenges.  

  • Lower rates of the minimum wage and benefits
  • Likelihood of unemployment
  • Exclusion from the housing register

Homelessness in young people is caused by:

  • Unemployment
  • a shortage of housing
  • family problems

Those who are more at risk of becoming homeless are:

  • care leavers
  • runaways
  • young offenders
  • black and minority ethnic groups
  • asylum seekers
  • refugees
  • young people from rural areas