Shelter response to government’s English Housing Survey

Posted 31 Jan 2019

Headline figures released today from the government’s English Housing Survey, show:

  • 4.5 million households now rent privately – the equivalent of 11.2 million people. This has increased by 52% (1,547,980 households) in the last decade.

  • The number of families renting privately has reached 1,570,141 – this has more than doubled since 2007-08 and now represents a quarter of all families.

  • There has also been a significant 74% rise in the number of older private renters (aged 55+) in the past decade, from 425,695 in 2007-08, to 742,067 in 2017-18.

Polly Neate, chief executive at Shelter, said: “It’s no coincidence that the number of people trapped in expensive and unstable private renting is still incredibly high, while the supply of new social homes has become almost frozen.

  • In addition to the rise in the overall number of private renters, there are more than twice as many households living in overcrowded conditions in the private rented sector compared to ten years ago.

“The private renting market is full to bursting and that comes with a heavy price tag. From the parents at their wits end bringing up their children in short-term rentals where they can be asked to move at the drop of a hat, to the older retired renters who live in constant fear of the next rent hike.

“It’s clear that something needs to change. That’s why we’re calling on the government to adopt our call for 3.1 million new social homes. Not only would this provide essential security for those who need it most, it would offer a much-needed step up for young families trying to get on in life and save for their future.”

Notes to editors:

  • Data is taken from the English Housing Survey 2017/18 headline report.

  • Changes in tenure are 2017/18 compared to 2008. This data is found in table AT 1.1.

  • The number of people living in the private rented sector is calculated by multiplying the number of households by the mean number of persons per household.

  • Changes in the demographics of private renters can be found in tables AT 1.4 and AT1.5

  • Delivery of social rented dwellings has fallen from 29,644 in 2007-08 to 6,463 in 2017-18. Live table 1006C