Do you pay too much rent?
Over 4 million households are in poverty once they have paid their housing costs, according to the National Housing Federation.
Housing takes up such a large proportion of people's incomes that over 1.5 million households fall into poverty as a direct result of simply paying their rent.
The picture is especially bleak in the Private Rented Sector (PRS), where over half of those in poverty in the PRS were not in poverty before paying their rent.
Additionally, families with children in the PRS are disproportionally pushed into poverty – around 44% of households with children in the PRS are in poverty after their rent is paid.
So how much rent should you be paying and what can you do to stop high rents dragging you into poverty?
How much rent should you be paying?
Housing charity Shelter defined affordable housing as ‘no more than 35% of your household income after tax and benefits’.
- If you earn £10,000 after tax and benefits, you should be spending £291.60 a month on rent for yourself.
- If you earn £15,000 after tax and benefits, you should be spending £437.50 a month on rent for yourself.
- If you earn £20,000 after tax and benefits, you should be spending £583.30 a month on rent for yourself.
- If you earn £25,000 after tax and benefits, you should be spending £729.15 a month on rent for yourself.
- If you earn £30,000 after tax and benefits you should be spending £875 a month on rent for yourself.
What help is available?
If you are struggling with your housing costs, there may be a number of benefits you can claim to help you, such as:
- Housing Benefit (England, Scotland and Wales)
- Housing Benefit (Northern Ireland)
- Universal Credit housing costs element
- Council Tax Support
- Support for Mortgage Interest
To find out what you are entitled to you can use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator.
You can also use the Turn2us Grants Search to find charitable funds that may be able to support you.
If you are living in the PRS, you can apply for social housing through your local council, you will usually have to join a waiting list and you’re not guaranteed to get a property. Visit the Government’s website to apply to your council for social housing.