The government wants to change standards on overcrowded accommodation that have been in place for more than 70 years.
In a consultation the Department for Communities and Local Government said the standards that have been in place since 1935 were “well out of line with contemporary expectations”.
It said overcrowding could have a “devastating effect on families”, causing under-achievement at school, depression and even domestic violence.
There are currently two standards on overcrowding, introduced in 1935 and reinforced in the Housing Act 1985.
The 12 worst areas for overcrowding are in London boroughs, and the government also announced today that it would provide £50m in funding to help homeless and overcrowded families in the capital.