In the UK, around 520,000 households live in overcrowded conditions and 90,000 live in temporary accommodation. As house prices boom, many find themselves unable to afford family-sized homes, and the meagre supply of new housing lags behind household growth by around 40,000 homes per year. Given the worrying evidence on the impact of overcrowding on family cohesion and mental and physical health, it is no wonder the eyes of many turn to under-occupied housing and, in particular, to older households.
This report is for policymakers and others in the housing sphere. It explores some of the key evidence on under-occupancy, questioning how relevant a factor age is in the prevalance of under-occupancy, if at all. It also outlines some of the possible policy options for reducing under-occupancy without compromising our right to live in the home of our choice.