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Half of working private renters ‘one paycheque away from losing their home’

22 Aug 2023 2 minute read
The Shelter survey showed that more than half (55%) of private renters have experienced a rent hike in the past year.

Half of working private renters are only one paycheque away from potentially losing their home, according to new research.

Some 51% of private renters surveyed by housing charity Shelter said they would not be able to keep paying their rent for a full month from their savings if they lost their job.

More than a third (34%) said they would be unable to pay any rent at all from savings if they became unemployed.

The charity’s survey showed that more than half (55%) of private renters have experienced a rent hike in the past year.

Politicians must commit to building more social homes to address the “precarious” situation that many renters find themselves in, the organisation said.

Shelter commissioned YouGov to survey 1,498 working adults in June who are private renters and said the situation appeared to have worsened since a similar survey in 2021.

Those findings showed a lower proportion – 39% – of working renters said they would struggle to pay a month’s rent from their savings if they became unemployed.

Rent increase

The latest survey also suggested more than a third (37%) of the 1,401 private renters who were struggling to pay or are already behind on their rent said an increase in monthly payments is a reason.

A separate survey carried out in March of 2,002 social renting adults in England showed that more than three-quarters (76%) said that without their social home, they would not be able to afford to live in their local area.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “The severe lack of social homes means swathes of people are barely scraping by as they’re forced to compete for grossly expensive private rentals, because there is nothing else.

“With food and household bills continuing to surge, the situation is precarious for thousands of renters who are one paycheque away from losing their home, and the spectre of homelessness.

“The time for piecemeal policies is over. To jam the brakes on the housing emergency, we need a genuinely affordable alternative to private renting.

“We know social housing works for most people because it’s secure and the rents are tied to local incomes. Instead of empty words, the Government and every political party must sign up to building thousands more social homes.”

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7 months ago

Housing market, both rented and bought/sold, is in a huge mess. Loads of reasons yet successive governments, institutions and other “stakeholders” have failed to act preferring to blame factors “not within their immediate control” which is downright evasion and deflection. Pre 2008 was a bit of a mess but the measures taken to save institutions in 2008 -10 and beyond had serious knock on effects. Making money cheap (low interest rates) looked good and certainly cut the cost of borrowing for governments and house buyers. However all it did for housing was drive up prices and it allowed government spending… Read more »

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