Shelter urges action as new government statistics reveal danger facing renters
Posted 09 Jul 2020
New statistics from the English Housing Survey released today show that in 2018/19:
28% of private renters found it difficult to pay rent – this works out as almost 1.2 million private renters
61% of private renters had no savings
Private renting households spent on average 33% of their household income on rent and this increased to 47% for people aged 16-24
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “These figures highlight again the bleak situation that many renters are in as they struggle to navigate the financial chaos of the pandemic. And they echo what our services hear on a daily basis - that many families don’t have savings to fall back on and that young renters have been particularly badly hit.
“Our own research shows that almost 230,000 have fallen behind with rent since March, meaning thousands could face homelessness when the evictions ban lifts - despite Robert Jenrick promising that nobody would lose their home due to coronavirus.
“Government can protect these renters, but with only a few sitting days left before Parliament breaks for summer, it must act now. Some small changes to the law would give judges the power they need to keep thousands safe in their homes and prevent a wave of Covid-evictions.”
Notes to editors:
Data is taken from the English Housing Survey 2018/2019 report on housing costs and affordability
1,166,955 private renters find it difficult to pay rent. This number and percentage of private renters who found it difficult to pay rent is available at MHCLG, English Housing Survey 2018 to 2019: housing costs and affordability, Annex Table 4.1
The percentage of private renters who had no savings is available at MHCLG, English Housing Survey 2018 to 2019: housing costs and affordability, Annex Table 2.10
The proportion of household income spent on rent for private renting households includes housing benefit and is available at MHCLG, English Housing Survey 2018 to 2019: housing costs and affordability, Annex Table 3.3