Rents on the rise
Rents are rising at twice the speed of wages across England.
Millions of families across the country are already struggling to pay their rents, and with wages stagnating and prices going up, homelessness is expected to dramatically increase.
In some towns, such as Cambridge, rents have risen by 41.2% since 2011, while wages have only increased by 7.2% - meaning you would need to fork out £1,200 for a two bedroom flat.
With rents rising uncontrollably quickly, people are struggling to find the money for life’s other essentials – food, travel, bills.
For housing to be affordable, it should take up no more than 35% of your household income after tax and benefits; however the average household now spends 42% of their income on rent, rising to 72% in parts of London.
High rents and low wages are often the cause of people contacting us for help.
Sally told us: “I’m on just above hourly rate and just make ends meet without kids! Sad world we live in when we have to depend on cohabitation to not be homeless."
While some are on the edge of homelessness due to housing costs, others are finding themselves falling into large debts. Karen said: “I’m really struggling and getting deeper and deeper into debt just to live.”
Simon Hopkins, CEO at Turn2us, said:
“Wage growth just isn’t keeping up with rent increases; it’s as simple as that. For the millions of renters across the country, the implications are significant.
“No one should have to spend their entire income on rent. This current trend is unsustainable - if nothing changes then countless families face being priced out of a place to live.
“In the long term, we need to boost the supply of genuinely affordable housing – this is key to solving UK poverty. And in the short term, it’s vital that those struggling to pay rent have access to all the practical support that exists”.
What financial help is available?
If you are struggling with housing costs, there may be benefits available to you:
- Housing Benefit
- Discretionary Housing Payment
- Universal Credit - if you live in a Universal Credit full service area. Get advice before you claim to check it's the right option for you. You could lose existing benefits if you make a claim for Universal Credit.
You may also be entitled to other benefits. To find out, use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator.