One in five people in the East of England are living in homes with "significant" mould, condensation or damp, or which they cannot keep warm in winter, according to new research.

And a man from Great Yarmouth has said the state of his rented home - with food rotting in cupboards due to the damp - is affecting his mental wellbeing.

Charity Shelter questioned people in the region as part of a national survey and combined the results with government data on homelessness.

And Shelter says one in three adults in the Eastern region, including Norfolk and Suffolk, do not have a safe, stable home, while one in five live in homes with significant mould, condensation or damp, or which they cannot keep warm in winter.

One is Colin (not his real name), who is in his 60s and rents a home with his wife in Great Yarmouth.

He has long-term health issues which affect his ability to work and is claiming Universal Credit.

He says his current home is in a poor state of repair and has significant damp problems.

He believes his and his wife’s mental health are being negatively affected by the damp and disrepair.

He said: "I kept ringing the landlord about the damp, but nothing was done. The whole house is damp. It even gets into the cupboards and makes the food bad.

"It’s so bad for your health. My wife’s breathing is much worse now.

"I’ve been put on the council waiting list, but they said it could be eight years wait. Mentally and physically it’s put so much strain on us. All I want is a home that has no issues.’

Shelter's research, carried out with YouGov, used eight criteria to measure if someone has access to a safe and secure home.

The online survey among 13,268 adults in Great Britain, included 1,213 in the East of England and the figures were weighted to be representative of all adults.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Decades of neglect have left Britain’s housing system is on its knees.

"A safe and secure home is everything, yet 1.5m people in the East of England don’t have one.

"We are fighting for everyone impacted by the housing emergency, and as we emerge from the pandemic, we want the public and politicians to do the same.”