FOUR in ten people’s homes fall below acceptable standards, according to a housing charity.

Shelter, which has developed a Living Home Standard, carried out research which revealed 43 per cent of UK homes fall below the threshold of what the public considers acceptable.

The Living Home Standard measures homes against five criteria deemed important by the public – affordability, decent conditions, stability, space and neighbourhood.

According to Shelter, around 27 per cent of people in Britain live in homes which fall below the affordability standard.

Almost 18 per cent of homes fail the decent conditions standard because of problems such as pests, damp or safety hazards. Meanwhile 10 per cent of residents do no regard their home as stable with renters saying they don’t have enough control over how long they can live in their home.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “At Shelter we know all too well that a home is much more than bricks and mortar – it’s a place that should allow us to live and thrive, rather than just get by.

“When Shelter was founded 50 years ago, it was with the hope that one day everyone in the country would have access to a place they can truly call home. But the sad truth is that far too many people in Britain right now are living in homes that just aren’t up to scratch – from the thousands of families forced to cope with poor conditions, to a generation of renters forking out most of their income on housing each month and unable to save for the future.”

He said Shelter is calling on the government to help raise more homes to the Living Home Standard level and said a “national mission” is needed to improve housing in the country.

“Now is the time for a national mission to get to grips with our housing crisis once and for all,” said Mr Robb.

“We’re calling on the government, alongside businesses and other charities, to work with us to turn things around and increase the number of homes that meet the Living Home Standard.”

British Gas supported Shelter in developing the Living Home Standard. Sarwjit Sambhi, who is managing director of UK Home at British Gas, said: “Our partnership has changed the lives of thousands of families but this report shows that there is clearly more to do. Through our customers, we understand what makes a house a home, and how important a warm and safe environment is for everyone. As we move towards a future where technology will play a greater role in our daily lives, the fact that many people do not even have basic levels of safety, comfort and security is unacceptable.”