Briefing: The social housing overcrowding scandal

By: Reshima Sharma
Published: July 2021

Briefing: The social housing overcrowding scandal

Years of underinvestment in social housing has resulted in chronic levels of overcrowding in the social rented sector. New research from Shelter has revealed the extent of this crisis: 1.5 million people are living in overcrowded social homes today – an increase of more than 40% in just five years. We will not end the housing emergency without building much more social housing. To end the scandal of chronic overcrowding in social housing, the government must:

  1. Increase investment in social housing and build at least 90,000 social homes in England a year.

  2. Ensure that reforms introduced in the Planning Bill significantly increase the number of social homes delivered by the planning system.


For more information on this briefing, please email reshima_sharma@shelter.org.uk