In recent years a well-known Swedish homeware store ran an ad campaign with the tagline ‘every home should be a haven’. The ad depicts the home being a buffer to all the stresses of the outside world. It is what we all aspire to – shutting our front door to the problems outside. Yet for the families we support, this is not their experience. For these families their housing is anything but a haven, and the stressors are inside the home as much as they are outside. This has a significant negative impact on their family relationships and their physical and mental health and well-being.
Our latest report LACK: Housing, Care and Isolation sets out the experiences of includem’s community-based workers in providing wellbeing and practical support to children, young people and families facing challenges related to their housing across the country. The responses were dominated by a LACK of space, repairs, resources, certainty, hope, communication, support, or suitability for living as a family.
To #KeepThePromise and Scotland’s commitment to whole family support and tackling child poverty, the significant impact of housing challenges on a families’ homes and wellbeing must be recognised. We must respond to the impact that living in cold, unfurnished, unstable and/or mouldy housing has on family wellbeing. We need to work together to address the root causes to ensure all families have not just a place to call home, but one that is a haven for them and those they love.