Younger residents, women, and those with disabilities have been worst affected by lockdown measures, a survey of the country’s largest housing association, Clarion, has found.
Clarion Housing Group’s research found that people over 65 were least likely to report that their mental health and finances had been negatively affected by the the COVID-19 crisis and the lockdown measures introduced to try and limit the spread of the virus.
That’s despite those over 65 being most likely to self-isolate.
But among residents aged 18-24, one-quarter (24%) of respondents to the Clarion survey said they were not coping well with the pandemic, compared with 13% among all age groups.
This younger group was found on average to be working fewer hours, furloughed or made redundant – with one in 10 losing their jobs.
Of working-age residents surveyed, 30% said their mental health had deteriorated during lockdown, compared with 16% of over 65s.
Residents with a disability made up 27% of survey responses, with 39% of this group reporting worse mental health as a result of lockdown.
Just 4% of over 75s said their household finances had been negatively impacted, with 33% of those aged 25-34 claiming to have no money.
Women were more likely to report difficulties, with 15% saying they were not coping well, compared with 9% of men.
Residents with access to a garden or outside space were 89% likely to feel they were coping well, compared with 70% who did not have access to any outdoor space, Clarion said.
“People who were in a precarious situation before the pandemic, including those working in insecure employment and disabled people have been negatively impacted,” the report read.
Less than 5% of Clarion’s retirement-age tenants reported difficulties in getting enough food during lockdown, compared with 8% for all its residents.
Older people’s wellbeing a ‘comfort’
Clare Miller, chief executive of Clarion, said: “Amid lots of negative news, it’s a comfort to see that the results from our survey suggest older people were comparatively well looked after and so far have been able to cope during the pandemic.
“It has been, and continues to be, a worrying time for everyone, especially for older people who are more vulnerable and we will continue with our supportive measures which have clearly paid off.
“However, as we go into the winter and with the possibility of a second wave, we are now looking at additional ways we can support our working-age residents, whose mental health and finances have taken a significant hit.”
Clarion, the UK’s largest social landlord with around 125,000 homes, conducts a survey among a 2,000-strong sample of its residents every year.
The association says it has made more than 80,000 welfare calls to older and disabled residents since the initial lockdown in March.
It is currently exploring how it can support working-age residents during the second wave.
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