Isle of Man housing survey finds ‘need to support’ old and less well-off

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The report looked at a sample of the island’s 35,000 private homes

The link between “disadvantageous social or economic” status and poor housing conditions shows a “continued need for support”, a report has said.

The government survey of private homes found 27% of those in disrepair had a head of household who was over 65 and a further 35% had 55 to 64-year-olds.

It also found in 18% of “unfit” homes, overall income was less than £15,600.

The report said specific government schemes to help the elderly might “prove of benefit”.

The survey assessed a sample of the island’s 35,000 private properties and categorised them as “satisfactory, poor repair and unfit”.

It found:

  • 97.5% of dwellings were occupied
  • 16.3% of housing – a total of 5,759 homes – were considered to be in poor repair or unfit
  • Castletown (8.1%) and Laxey (6.1%) had the largest number of poor repair or unfit properties, due in part to the high number of properties built before 1945 in those areas
  • Unfit homes would cost on average more than £19,000 to repair, with those in poor repair costing almost £10,000

It concluded that “poor housing conditions impact more strongly on households exhibiting social and or economic disadvantage” and those “particularly affected are the elderly, the economically vulnerable and those on low incomes”.

“These relationships indicate a continued need for support within the private housing sector,” it said.

It said a “difficulty [in] finding reliable workmen was quoted as the major barrier to home improvement” by many owners and it was “therefore not surprising that a strong interest exists in the department providing a list of builders and contractors”.

“Specific schemes to support the elderly might also prove of benefit given the strong association between elderly households and poor housing conditions,” it added.

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