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Half of working renters are a payday away from homelessness

Words: Laura Edgar
Rent / iStock-534569026

Research suggests that 45 per cent of renters in England would not be able to afford to pay their rent for a month if they lost their jobs.

A study by charity Shelter and YouGov found that nearly three million private renters could be one pay cheque away from losing their home because they have few or no savings to fall back on.

The prospects for working families with children in particular are “bleak”.

According to the study, 760,000 renting families – 60 per cent – could be just one payday away from losing their home, with 550,000 of these families immediately unable to pay their rent if they suffered a job loss.

The report’s findings, Shelter noted, are line with the government's figures, which suggest that 63 per cent of private renting households have no savings. The charity said this no surprise given that 41 per cent of their monthly income goes on rent costs.

Polly Neate, chief executive at Shelter, said: “By allowing the number of genuinely affordable social homes to plummet, politicians have supercharged our housing emergency.

“Millions of working people are now caught in an endless cycle of paying grossly expensive private rents they can barely afford – with all the insecurity that brings. Many are terrified that even a short-term dip in income could result in them losing their home for good.

“Warm words and piecemeal policies will not solve this deepening crisis. The only way politicians can fix what has gone so wrong is with a clear commitment from every party to deliver three million more social homes over the next 20 years.”  

The charity wants all parties not to sideline the housing crisis, and to guarantee that social housebuilding is at the centre of any domestic agenda.

* The survey comprised 3,995 private renters in England, 2,965 of whom are workers, and 833 are working parents with children living in their households.

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