By: Kate Webb
Published: February 2013
Access to decent housing is one issue that can be directlyimproved by increasing income, although efforts to increase the underlying supply of decent, affordablehousing will also remain crucial. Frank Field’s review of poverty and life chances endorsed this point and explicitly acknowledged that housing is one of the areas where additional income is effective at tackling inadequacies.
Shelter welcomes the opportunity to comment on proposals for a new definition of child poverty. We also welcome the reaffirmation that this is to support the goal of abolishing child poverty by 2020. It is essential that any new measure captures the true extent of poverty; helps ensure that resources and policies are effectively targeted; and commands political and public support. We argue that housing circumstances must form part of this measure, but that income will remain central to an understanding of poverty. Tackling housing need by addressing its structural causes, specifically an under-supply of decent, affordable and secure family homes, provides a route to lift children out of poverty and improve their outcomes.