Shelter responds to the Chancellor's cost of living support package announcement

Posted 27 May 2022

Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Shelter said: “Millions of people across the country will be breathing a sigh of relief following the Chancellor’s package of support. Cash to keep the lights on and put food on the table is vitally important, but so is keeping a roof over your head – and one-off support payments won’t last that long. 

“Private rents have reached record highs, yet housing benefit remains frozen at 2020 levels. Almost two million private renters now rely on ​housing benefit yet it’s lagging dangerously behind the real cost of rent. Families face an annual shortfall of £540 on average for a modest two-bedroom rented home – with many dipping into money meant for essentials like food or heating just to keep a roof over their head. It’s no wonder tenants live in daily fear of losing their home. 

“Allowing homelessness to rise will cost the government a lot more in the long-run, and ruin countless lives along the way. The government needs to go beyond these one-off payments and reverse the housing benefit squeeze – it’s the only way to keep more people in their homes during the cost-of-living crisis.”