A fifth of homes in the Cumberland Council area failed to meet decent standards, new figures show.

The Government’s English Housing Survey has revealed 3.6 million homes across the country were deemed ‘non-decent’ because they could either pose a risk to residents’ health or life, are in a bad state of repair, are cold or lack modern facilities.

The annual survey asks people at a sample of addresses about the state and quality of their housing.

The fuel poverty charity National Energy Action said lives are “being ruined by cold, damp housing”.

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities figures show 21 per cent of all 128,259 occupied homes in Cumberland failed to meet the Government’s official Decent Homes Standard. The rate was higher than the average of 15 per cent across the country.

Overall, across England the proportion of private rented homes found to be in bad condition was twice as high as social housing homes, with 23 per cent compared with 11 per cent.

Matt Copeland, head of policy at NEA, said current incentives and regulation are not sufficient to get landlords to improve their properties.

He added the Government had promised to consult on increasing the minimum energy efficiency standard of private rented properties, but there has been no further development on this.

In Cumberland, 30 per cent of private rented homes were deemed non-decent and 13 per cent of all social homes.

David Finch, assistant director in the healthy lives directorate at the Health Foundation, said non-decent homes are putting potentially vulnerable people at significant risk of health problems.

A housing needs study has been initiated by Cumberland Council to look at the areas requirements for the next 15 years.

The General Needs Housing Study (2024-2039) will examine the size, type, and tenure of necessary housing for the local population.

“The housing needs study will play a vital role in shaping the future development of our community, ensuring that housing provision meets the diverse needs of our residents,” said Cllr Emma Williamson, executive member for housing, upon the study's announcement.

“Examining housing needs in Cumberland is essential for creating inclusive, resilient, and sustainable communities where everyone has access to suitable housing and the opportunity to thrive.”