Elderly living in ‘unsafe’ homes

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MORE than 45,000 vulnerable elderly people in Yorkshire are being put at risk by living in homes that are unsafe, in a state of disrepair or without essential modern facilities, a charity has revealed.

Charity Electrical Safety First is urging the Government to take action after researchers found that a million over 75s live in ‘non-decent’ homes, a standard set by the Government.

It found nearly two thirds of households with a couple over 60 do not meet basic electrical safety standards, which include having a modern fusebox, circuit breakers and PVC wiring.

And a lack of new builds combined with an ageing population means this situation will worsen unless urgent action is taken, the report said.

Phil Buckle, director general of Electrical Safety First, said: “Most people want to stay in their home as long as possible, but for this to happen we need central and local governments to act and ensure elderly people can maintain their independence by living in safe and decent houses.”

The campaign has been supported by 70-year-old Howard Barry, of Leeds, whose kitchen was set ablaze when the electric in his old boiler caught fire. He and his wife fled after waking to find their bungalow filled with smoke. He said: “I dread to think what could have happened if I hadn’t woken up.”

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said the Government has provided £2.3bn to bring sub-standard council homes up to scratch, as well as cash for advice and to help disabled people stay in their homes.