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Rented Housing: Overcrowding

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN 133700, tabled on 6 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the finding of the Covid-19 Marmot Review that overcrowding in the rented sector is at its highest rate since this information was first collected in the 1990s.

Answered on

15 January 2021

For people living in overcrowded accommodation this pandemic has been difficult. We have provided guidance to support those living in rented homes, including advice on minimising the spread of infection for those in overcrowded or shared accommodation. We continue to review a range of evidence including from Sir Michael's review.

Before the pandemic we clarified minimum room sizes in houses in multiple occupation, making it illegal to let out a bedroom of under 6.51 square metres to one person, and we empowered all tenants through the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act to take their landlord to court on the grounds that their home is not fit to live in. Our review of the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System will make it simpler and quicker for local authorities to assess health and safety standards in rented homes. In the social sector our national home swap scheme, HomeSwap Direct, is making it easier for under-occupying households and overcrowded households to help each other.