Housing crisis taking its toll on private renters: new poll

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21/06/2014


More than a third of private renters in Great Britain fear having to move out of their local area because of the high cost of housing, according to a new survey.

to let signsThe Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH)/Ipsos MORI poll questioned adults aged 16-75 online across Great Britain.  Thirty-nine per cent of those living in private rented homes agree they might have to leave their local area in the future because the cost of housing is too high, compared with 20 per cent across Great Britain as a whole.

The survey also found that:

Four in ten private renters (40%) are concerned about being able to pay the rent right now (Great Britain average: 24%)

43% are concerned they won’t be able to meet their monthly payments in 12 months’ time (GB average: 29%)

Half (48%) say concerns about their housing costs are causing them a great deal or fair amount of stress (GB average: 32%)

Two-thirds (65%) say the cost of housing limits the amount they have to spend on other things either a great deal or a fair amount (GB average: 49%)

Almost three quarters (72%) of private renters agree it is harder for them to buy or rent a home than it was for their parent’s generation when they were the same age (GB average: 60%)

The survey also showed that people living in the private rented sector are more unhappy with their homes than the average person in Great Britain.  Eighteen per cent say they are very or fairly dissatisfied with their home (GB average: 12%), 19% say it is in poor condition (GB average: 11%), 26% say their home is too expensive (GB average: 10%) and 29% say it is too small or lacks space (GB average: 19%).

CIH released the figures ahead of Housing 2014, its annual conference and exhibition, which takes place at Manchester Central from 24-26 June.  Chief executive Grainia Long said: “Our housing crisis is causing misery for millions of people across Great Britain, but as these figures show it is really taking its toll on people living in private rented homes.  It is deeply disturbing that more than a third of private renters think they might have to leave their local area because the cost of housing is too high.  The fact that 43% are concerned they won’t be able to pay their rent next year – and four in ten are already struggling – is also extremely worrying.

“Our survey showed that half of private renters (51%) would support more homes being built in their local area.  We think they are absolutely right – to have any hope of tackling our housing crisis we must drastically increase the number of new homes we build across all tenures.

“It also showed that people who live in private rented homes have a particular concern about standards.  With more and more people living in the private rented sector – including more older people, more families with children and more vulnerable people from the housing waiting list – it’s vital that we look carefully at new ways to raise standards and make sure it is working better for its residents than it is right now.”

She added: “With the general election approaching, our survey also showed that all parties must do much more to convince people living in private rented homes that they can address this issue.  When asked which party has the best policies on housing, 56% say ‘none’ or ‘don’t know’, while 40% don’t think that political parties pay a lot of attention to housing. Now is the time for action – we’re challenging all parties put tackling the housing crisis front and centre in their manifestos.”

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