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The Good Home Inquiry

The Good Home Inquiry launched to find policy solutions for England's housing crisis

The Good Home Inquiry is an evidence-based analysis of England’s housing policies to determine the causes of, and solutions to, the poor quality of so much of our housing.

Sponsored by the Centre for Ageing Better, the Inquiry is led by an independent panel and chaired by David Orr CBE.

The Good Home Inquiry has launched as data shows about 10 million people in England spent the coronavirus lockdown in a home that presents a serious threat to their health and safety. 

About 1.8 million adults are living in damp and/or cold housing and, of these, more than one in ten people are living with health conditions potentially caused or exacerbated by poor housing, causing them to be ‘at risk’ of COVID-19.

The Good Home Inquiry will explore why so many of England’s homes are in poor condition, hazardous to health and unsuitable for people who are older or disabled.

Past and present government housing policies will be reviewed as part of the inquiry to determine the causes of the country’s deficit in affordable, accessible and decent homes. Learnings from policy research will then be used to make evidence-based recommendations for new and amended housing policies that would make it easier to upgrade, maintain and improve our homes.

Integral to recommendations will be wide-ranging consultations with experts and housing sector stakeholders, as well as research providing understanding of the lived experiences of people living in a poor-quality home.

In less than 20 years, it’s estimated that 25% of the population will be over the age of 65. England needs to improve housing to be accessible, affordable, safe and comfortable to live in for all of us and particularly for our increasing ageing population.

Too many people in the UK are living in homes that are unsuitable for their needs and dangerous to their health. Poor housing policies have created a crisis where there is a lack of decent, accessible and affordable housing in this country.
David Orr, Chair of The Good Home Inquiry

The Good Home Inquiry is sponsored by the Centre for Ageing Better and independently chaired by David Orr CBE. Inquiry panel members will be announced shortly.

The Inquiry will cover all tenure types and focus on mainstream housing for all age groups. In addition to the national definition of a ‘non-decent home’, the Inquiry will seek to broaden this description to that of a ‘good home'. The quality of the home itself will be the primary focus of the Inquiry however, cross-cutting and related themes such as the environment, affordability and the community will also be considered.

The inquiry will be underpinned by a number of major research projects, the first three of which will:

  1. Identify a small number of policies that national government should prioritise in order to improve housing for England, based on economic modelling and a review of past and present housing policies
  2. Ensure that the Inquiry is grounded in the experiences of people who live in poor-quality housing and the real-world impacts of housing policy
  3. Review the existing evidence on the relationship between health and housing, and what this means for the spread, recovery and future prevention of coronavirus

Learnings and recommendations from the first two research projects are anticipated to be published in early 2021, with the Inquiry concluding mid-year.

The Inquiry supports the Centre for Ageing Better’s goal of reducing the number of homes classed as ‘non-decent’ by at least one million by 2030. Better housing policies and targeted spending could greatly reduce the number of people living in poor quality and unsafe homes, improve the quality of life of millions of people and reduce the associated costs to the NHS of caring for people with ill-health related to poor housing.

Safe and accessible homes – one of our priorities

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