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Families isolated by London's housing crisis, says Shelter

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:33 05 October 2010

THE shortage of housing in London is causing families to fracture and become isolated, according to new research. Adults are unable to be near elderly parents because they can't afford to live close by, says a survey by Shelter

By Mike Brooke

THE shortage of housing in London is causing families to fracture and become isolated from one another, according to new research.

Adults are unable to be near elderly parents because they can’t afford to live close by, says a survey by the Shelter national homeless charity.

It means grandparents missing out on helping take care of their grandchildren mainly because of soaring house prices, the survey has found.

“Many families desperately need the support and care of relatives,” says Shelter’s policy director Kay Boycott. “But the housing crisis is making it impossible for family members to support each other.”

They face rocketing nursery costs for toddlers, around £8,000 a year on average, because grandparents are too far away to help out. At the other end of the scale, adults can’t care for their ageing parents who often end up in care homes with the average annual fee in a private residential home now £24,500.

“It seems a false economy not to invest in affordable housing, when the cost of child and elderly care are both so high,” Kay added.

“This is not just about the financial cost for people. Grandparents are missing out on precious time watching their grandchildren grow up, and many elderly people may not be getting the support they need.”

The Shelter research also found one-in-five unmarried adults between 18 and 34 were still living at home, with 45 per cent blaming high housing costs.

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