Consultation response: APPG Poverty inquiry into the Poverty Premium

By: Vicky Pearlman  Published: July 2018


Low-income households face additional costs in accessing housing. Shelter welcomes this opportunity to submit evidence to the APPG on Poverty's inquiry into the poverty premium.

Summary

  • Low-income households face additional costs and barriers in accessing housing, some of which interact to compound difficulties
  • Tenants in the private renter sector who are in receipt of benefits face discrimination from landlords
  • Even if a household could find somewhere they can afford to rent, the large upfront costs involved in private renting, including deposits and letting fees, makes the hurdles even higher
  • The upfront cost of private renting prohibits low-income households from accessing the PRS and means that many are forced to borrow, starting a tenancy in debt. For households experiencing multiple moves, the repeated costs of fees, deposits and rent in advance can pull them further into debt
  • Moving in to a new home should be a fresh start for families who have previously been homeless. But ideas of what makes a ‘home’ can be severely tested if families are forced to move in without basic household goods, such as a cooker, fridge, carpets or curtains. At Shelter, we see far too many families move into new tenancies with few, or no, possessions with which to make a home, and too little money to buy them
  • Our Services report increasing numbers of clients prioritising payment to rent-to-own companies over their rent, risking arrears and homelessness
  • Our Shelter advisers report increasing concerns about clients who are in rent arrears faced with high levels of deductions from Universal Credit, both for third party debts and advance payments, leaving people with impossibly low incomes
  • Employees in any company will experience housing issues from time-to-time. Shelter’s expertise in providing housing support to millions of people across Britain, means that we are able to support employers to engage with employees, understand and address their housing issues.

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