Young people, those who live in towns and cities, and renters have been affected by their living conditions more than other groups in society during the lockdown period.

That is the top-line message from research conducted by the Quality of Life Foundation and unveiled last week.

The nationwide poll of 1000 respondents from a mixture of housing tenures, which was run in collaboration with Portland Communications revealed that 84% of people aged over 55 were satisfied or very satisfied with their homes, compared to just 56% of young people between 18–24 years old. This fell to just 48% for 18–24 year olds in towns compared with 65% in rural areas.

Professor Sadie Morgan, Founder of the Quality of Life Foundation, said the findings highlighted ‘worrying’ generation and geographical disparities, with young people living in cities struggling more as a result of their housing situation than any other group in society.

“The built environment is fundamental to peoples’ quality of life’, she said. ‘Only now, as we are all forced to spend more time in our homes and immediate neighbourhoods, are we beginning to appreciate the impact they can have on our physical and mental wellbeing’

The poll also came up with findings that included that:

to those living in the suburbs or countryside. People in rural areas reported that better access to nature and a greater feeling of support from their neighbours were helping wellbeing during this time of social distancing.

The poll, outlined in more detail here, is part of a research programme into what people think about their homes and communities. It includes a series of in-depth interviews, led by Social Life and Kaizen Partnership, to explore how people’s homes and communities improve or diminish their quality of life during the lockdown, as well as on-the-ground research talking to residents in a variety of neighbourhoods across the UK that the Quality of Life Foundation conducted earlier in the year.

As a whole, said the foundation, the research ‘will gather insight to build a framework that makes people’s wellbeing central to the way we create and care for our homes and communities’.

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