William Eichler 20 August 2020

Women and single parents ‘most negatively impacted’ by COVID-19

Women and single parents ‘most negatively impacted’ by COVID-19 image

Women and single parents are likely to be most negatively impacted by COVID-19 and the pressures it is putting on social housing, according to researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

According to the researchers, women make up the majority of those in social housing and early evidence suggests the pandemic has hit them harder in the job market, particularly those on low incomes.

Lone parents are also likely to lower their working hours with children being at home since the lockdown. A reduction in the household’s only income means that a surge in demand for social housing seems inevitable.

Dr Emiliya Lazarova, associate professor in economics, and Pierre Bruton, a third year undergraduate student in UEA’s School of Economics, found that local authorities with a high proportion of single parents and people working in industries struggling as a result of COVID-19 will be the most strongly impacted, facing a large rise in demand for social housing.

They say councils will have to target those in need to appropriate housing and reduce the period it takes for the application process to complete.

Presenting their findings in a new blog article for the School of Economics, Dr Lazarova said: ‘Covid-19 has spread globally but its impact across industries, ethnicities, ages and genders has been felt very differently and we may see a widening of gender inequality.

‘The pandemic has had a big impact on female-dominated industries and with children at home requiring attention, women and lone parents have been faced with the greatest struggles. As schools reopen in September, there is urgent need for social housing. However, the rise in demand could vary across different local authorities.’

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