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Cuts to housing benefits led to 75,000 more overcrowded households during the pandemic

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A new study by Dr Amy Clair has found that the recent cuts to housing benefits led to 75,000 more households classified as overcrowded.

Writing in The Conversation Dr Clair said: ‘COVID-19 has been described as a “housing disease”. Overcrowded living conditions make it easier for the virus to spread, and statistics show a link between overcrowding and mortality from COVID.

In my new research published in the International Journal of Housing Policy, I found that reductions to housing benefits led to a significant increase in overcrowding among private renters in England in the years leading up to the pandemic. My analysis shows that more than 75,000 additional households were overcrowded during the pandemic because of these policies.’

Read Dr Amy Clair’s article in The Conversation here and the full paper in the International Journal of Housing Policy here.