Research from Shelter showcases more than half of a million homes in the nation to be overcrowded. Social housing allocates about seven square metres space for children to play and develop in, which is much less than the national average. It is an unacceptable condition for kids to be spending their childhood in because it direly impacts their relationships, health and education.
In order to provide better living conditions for low-wage earners, it is vital that the government takes into account the diaspora of people affected. It isn’t always practical to box people in a certain percentage and build houses, nor is it possible to individually tailor every house to a family, but it is possible to look at the larger picture here and consider what is it that people require for them to be able to consider having a pleasant home, as far as living standards are concerned.
Family breakup with a partner working long hours and choosing to avoid returning home to a disruptive living arrangement, or simply opting out of a relationship due to the difficulties faced at home is also attributed to overcrowding. Local areas do not always have affordable homes for people to live comfortably in. Many reside in tower blocks which are distinct in their design with a lack of sufficient play areas outside and ample space to accommodate guests, acting as hassles to residents.
Families living in overcrowded housing often have to accommodate less favourable sleeping patterns and surroundings. Sharing a bedroom between parents and children, and growing children of the opposite sex more often than not attribute to serious concerns over privacy. Individuals lack basic space in which to have meals and get dressed or store their possessions.
Young teenagers, who often have difficulty being open to different perspectives and ways of living, face the challenge of having to dwell in a small space with others, while couples with children or couples dwelling with other family members are sometimes unable to focus on their relationship due to sleeping in living rooms, dining rooms or on couches. Living circumstances such as these often also lead residents to face depression, anxiety or stress.