William Eichler 21 March 2022

Councils need anti-hoarding teams, researchers say

Councils need anti-hoarding teams, researchers say  image
Image: Evgeny Pylayev/Shutterstock.com.

Local authority housing officers should be given better training or even specialist anti-hoarding teams to deal with hoarders, researchers say.

Researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) have worked with housing officers from Norwich City Council to develop a database for the officers to log hoarding cases.

A total of 38 cases were recorded between May and August 2021 and each was assigned a clutter rating. Other information, such as the vulnerability of the tenant and safeguarding issues, was also logged.

The research team found that the majority of hoarders lived alone (87%) and almost half (47%) had a known vulnerability or disability. Around 60% of cases lived in flats and just over a third (34%) posed an environmental health or fire risk.

The team recommended that housing officers are given better training – particularly to deal with hoarders with mental health disorders and underlying trauma – and that specialist teams could help hoarders reduce their clutter.

Lead researcher Dr Sarah Hanson, from UEA’s School of Health Sciences, said: ‘People who have a hoarding disorder have trouble throwing things away, they collect and accumulate belongings, and their living spaces become very unmanageable.’

She continued: ‘Hoarding behaviours are associated with a higher rate of healthcare utilization, chronic and severe medical concerns, a higher rate of mental health service use and housing insecurity due to the threat of eviction.

‘As well as affecting the individual’s health and wellbeing, hoarding often affects relationships and family life. It can also cause a significant fire and environmental health risks and a significant economic burden to housing providers and emergency services.

‘Working with hoarders presents many challenges to housing providers, who need to balance the care of their properties with the care of their tenants. Dealing with the results of hoarding can be traumatising for the person who hoards and the hoarding behaviours usually re-occur.’

‘Housing officers need long-term, ongoing support and specialist training to manage hoarding cases, but this is often challenged by other demands of the job, which are often emergency situations,’ Dr Hanson added.

‘It’s really important that housing officers should have stronger links with mental health providers and be able to refer hoarders for further support packages.’

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs


Cambridgeshire County Council
£28,226 - £30,095
The Street Works Team currently has a vacancy for a Street Works Inspector. Cambridgeshire, Various places-working out of office base.
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Purchase Ledger Officer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£19,312 - £19,698
The Revenues Service is looking to recruit a Purchase Ledger Officer to cover maternity leave in our busy Purchase Ledger team. Darby House, Telford
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Specialist Behaviour and Inclusion Keyworker

City of Bradford MDC
£22,129 - £27,514 pa (Pro rata for Part Time Posts)
The role is to support parents/carers to implement changes in behaviour and lifestyle that improve outcomes for children and young people. Based at Specialist Behavioural Services
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Legal Officer (Litigation)

City of Bradford MDC
£22,129 pa - £32,798 pa (starting salary dependent on experience)
We are looking to recruit to the above position to join our busy legal team. Based in City Hall, Bradford City Centre
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Assistant Streetworks and Permitting Officer

Lincolnshire County Council
£21,269 - £23,953
Do you want to make a difference to how Street Works are managed within Lincolnshire? Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.