Housing with damp problems

Published

Last updated 23 February 2018 - see all updates

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1. Main facts and figures

  • 5% of households in England had damp problems in their home in the time period studied (around 1 million homes)

  • Black African, Pakistani and Other White households were more likely to have damp problems in their home than White British households

Things you need to know

Compared with White British households, ethnic minority households tend to:

  • be younger
  • have lived in England for a shorter time
  • be located in urban areas
  • live in larger households
  • live in rented accommodation

To ensure that there is a large enough number of ethnic minority households to produce reliable findings, the data is drawn from the English Housing Survey (EHS) 2014/15 and 2015/16.

Information about households available from the EHS Headline and Annual Reports is normally based on a 12-month period (April to March) of the survey. Because of this some of the statistics cited here may not match those in the Headline and Annual Reports.

The commentary only includes findings based on subgroups of at least 30 households to ensure that we report reliable findings.

For this reason, estimates for the following ethnic groups have not been presented in some of the tables or charts: White Irish, Gypsy Traveller or Irish Traveller, Mixed White and Asian, Mixed White and Black Caribbean, Any Other Mixed/Multiple backgrounds, Chinese, Other Black background, and Arab.

It is not possible to look in detail at the characteristics of the type of households with damp problems. This is because the sample sizes of individual ethnic groups when further broken down by other characteristics such as income, socio-economic group, region or age are not large enough to give reliable estimates.

The EHS is a ‘sample survey’: it collects information from a random sample of the population to make generalisations (reach 'findings’) about the total population.

For example, EHS findings might include the percentage of households who get help from their family to buy their own home.

The commentary for this data only includes reliable, or ‘statistically significant’, findings.

Findings are statistically significant when we can be confident that they are reflective of the total population rather than just the survey sample.

What the data measures

This data measures the percentage of households in England who had damp problems, broken down by ethnicity. The damp problem could have been in one or more rooms in the property.

It shows the percentage of households in each ethnic group in England who had damp problems in their home.

A home with a damp problem is one with any of the following:

  • rising damp
  • penetrating damp or serious condensation or mould in any of the rooms inspected

Rising damp refers to the slow upward movement of water in the lower sections of walls and other ground-supported structures. Penetrating damp is another common form of dampness where water penetrates the outside of a building (through walls, roofs or windows) and appears inside.

The figures are drawn from the 2014/15 and 2015/16 English Housing Survey (EHS). The survey involves face-to-face interviews with about 13,300 randomly selected households every year.

These are used to make estimates for the 22.6 million households in England as a whole.

The EHS is a national survey of people's housing circumstances and the condition and energy efficiency of homes in England.

The information relates to households. A household is one person or a group of people (not necessarily related) who have the accommodation as their only or main residence. If they are a group they also must share cooking facilities and a living room, sitting room, or dining area.

The EHS has ethnicity information on the household reference person as well as all other members of the household. The household reference person is the person in whose name the dwelling is owned or rented or who is otherwise responsible for the accommodation.

Some households contain people from different ethnic backgrounds; in these circumstances, we have used the ethnic background of the household reference person to define the ethnic background of the household.

Nearly all the household reference persons – more than 99.8% interviewed – provided information on their ethnicity.

The ethnic categories used in this data

This data uses the standardised ethnic groups based on the 2011 Census.

White:

  • English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British
  • Irish
  • Gypsy, Traveller or Irish Traveller
  • Any other White background

Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups:

  • White and Black Caribbean
  • White and Black African
  • White and Asian
  • Any other Mixed/Multiple ethnic background

Asian/Asian British:

  • Indian
  • Pakistani
  • Bangladeshi
  • Chinese
  • Any other Asian background

Black/African/Caribbean/Black British:

  • African
  • Caribbean
  • Any other Black/African/Caribbean background

Other ethnic group:

  • Arab
  • Any other ethnic group

2. Households with damp problems by ethnicity

Number and percentage of households with damp problems by ethnicity
Ethnicity % Number All households
Asian
Bangladeshi 6 5,853 103,335
Chinese withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality
Indian 3 15,415 478,112
Pakistani 11 32,541 285,003
Asian other 5 12,902 240,993
Black
Black African 12 49,331 415,843
Black Caribbean 6 16,339 266,674
Black other withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable
Mixed
Mixed White/Asian withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable
Mixed White/Black African 12 8,653 73,586
Mixed White/Black Caribbean withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality
Mixed other withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable
White
White British 4 736,528 18,969,280
White Irish withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality
White Gypsy/Traveller withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable
White other 8 78,668 1,006,085
Other
Arab withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality
Any other 4 8,443 199,370

Download table data for ‘Households with damp problems by ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Households with damp problems by ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary of Housing with damp problems Households with damp problems by ethnicity Summary

This data shows that:

  • 4% of White British households lived in damp housing – around 737,000 households

  • Black African, Pakistani and Other White households were most likely to have damp problems in their home, at 12%, 11% and 8% respectively

  • Indian households were least likely to have damp problems in their home, at 3% – however, the number of households surveyed was too small to draw firm conclusions

  • the sample sizes for other ethnic groups were too small to draw firm conclusions

3. Methodology

The EHS consists of:

  • face-to-face interviews with a random sample of about 13,300 households a year
  • a physical inspection of the homes of about 6,000 of the interviewed households – these are selected at random and carried out by a surveyor

The surveyor also inspects a random sample of about 200 properties identified by the interviewer as vacant.

Weighting:

Weighting is used to adjust the results of a survey to make them representative of the population.

For example, a survey which contains 25% females and 75% males will not accurately reflect the views of the general population, which we know is around 50% male and 50% female.

Statisticians rebalance or ‘weight’ the survey results to more accurately represent the general population. This helps to make them more reliable.

Survey weights are usually applied to make sure the survey sample has broadly the same gender, age, ethnic and geographic make up as the general population.

In the EHS, weighting makes the results more representative of the 22.6 million households in England.

Suppression rules and disclosure control

Estimates based on less than 30 households have not been included in these statistics, because small numbers of households make it impossible to draw meaningful conclusions. Detailed data, including some potentially disclosive data, is protected by a range of disclosure controls. See the guidance on English Housing Survey: datasets for information accessing this data.

Rounding

Estimates in the charts and tables are given to the nearest whole number. You can get more detailed estimates to 1 decimal place if you download the data.

Quality and methodology information

4. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Note on corrections or updates

Information published in the EHS headline report and other annual reports is usually based on a 12-month period, rather than the 2 years’ combined data used here. As a result, the statistics shown here may not match those in the EHS reports.

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

The English Housing Survey is a continuous national survey commissioned by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. It collects information about people’s housing circumstances and the condition and energy efficiency of housing in England.

5. Download the data

Households with damp problems - Spreadsheet (csv) 3 KB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, value, denominator, numerator and sample size