BRITAIN’S housing crisis is causing more than one in five people to suffer mental-health problems, according to research published by Shelter today.
Some 21 per cent surveyed by the homeless charity reported suffering anxiety, depression and panic attacks because of housing worries in the last five years.
And one in six also said housing problems had affected their physical health, eliciting symptoms including nausea, exhaustion, headaches and hair loss, the research among both renters and homeowners found.
More than two-thirds (69 per cent) of people who had experienced housing problems in the last five years such as poor conditions, struggling to pay the rent or being threatened with eviction reported a negative impact on their mental health.
Shelter said research among GPs in England also found evidence of people visiting their doctor due to bad housing. GPs reported some patients were being diagnosed with anxiety and depression directly due to housing problems.
The charity is urging anyone who feels overwhelmed by housing problems to get help.
Shelter legal adviser Liz Clare said: “From families in fear of falling further behind on the rent to people dealing with the misery of raising young children in a tiny mouldy freezing flat, people can feel completely overwhelmed.
“But getting advice and support for housing problems early can ease the pressure and stop things spiralling out of control.”
The charity, which surveyed more than 3,500 people, recommended talking to one of Shelter’s housing advisers if facing eviction.