Overcrowded homes in King's Lynn more vulnerable to Covid-19

Overcrowded homes in King's Lynn more vulnerable to Covid-19

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Harriet Clugston
2:00pm 31st March 2020.

Dozens of households in King's Lynn and West Norfolk are living in overcrowded accommodation.

A leading housing think tank warns they're more vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic.

As cases of Covid-19 spread across the UK, the government is advising people to practice social distancing - and those with symptoms have been told to isolate themselves indoors.

Resolution Foundation says many households will struggle to follow this guidance because the place they live in is cramped or overcrowded - and they've called on the government to think about the impact on these groups when giving out health advice.

Fresh figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) show there were 65 households on the housing waiting list in King's Lynn and West Norfolk last year who were living in overcrowded or unsanitary conditions.

However, that number only includes those waiting for new social housing - the actual number living in these conditions is thought to be much higher.  

Advice from Public Health England says that if anyone has symptoms of coronavirus, such as a cough or high temperature, they should stay away from vulnerable people in their home, sleep in separate beds and use separate bathrooms if possible.  

But this guidance is thought to be especially difficult for those in cramped or overcrowded housing.  

A spokesman for MHCLG says:

"Public safety and protecting the most vulnerable people in society from coronavirus is this government's top priority.

"We are working closely with councils and charities to ensure families have the support they need throughout this period."