The Building and Social Housing Foundation has published the results of research using focus groups, investigating public understandings of space in the home and overcrowding.
The research explored how a minimum space standard might be meaningfully described. Among the conclusions was the assertion that
‘Every home should allow space for all members of the household to eat together or for a small number of friends or family members to visit.’
There was widespread agreement across the focus groups that different types of household would have different needs in terms of health and development, social interaction and essential items. The focus groups explored these issues by developing a list of space requirements for three case study households:
- Couple with two young children
- Couple over 60
- Single working-age man without children.
Participants were asked to agree the furniture and other possessions, activities and levels of privacy needed in the home.
According to the focus group discussions, ‘a couple with one child require a minimum of 65 m2 of usable floor area. In England, 14 per cent of families with children live in homes smaller than this.’