Everyone has the right to a safe and secure home

Yet nearly half of working private renters could be just one missed paycheque away from losing their home

Losing your job is always stressful. But what if it meant you could lose your home, too?

Sadly, this is the risk faced by nearly three million private renters in England. With little to no savings to fall back on, 45% of working renters would be unable to pay their rent after only one month if they lost their job and couldn’t get another straightaway.

Joanna says it’s always a balancing act. ‘It’s a real struggle to afford to pay for everything. I don’t feel as though there’s much left over at the end of the month, if anything.’

What’s more, a staggering 60%, or over 760,000 of working families with children are in the same boat – families just like Joanna’s. And there are more than half a million (550,000) renting families surviving paycheque to paycheque, who would face the even more terrifying prospect of being unable to pay their rent from the very moment they lost their job.

‘You do risk being stuck without having somewhere to house yourself and your children,’ says Joanna, who has no savings.

It’s unacceptable, but it’s the nightmare scenario many households like Joanna’s are forced to consider every day.

Joanna at her kitchen table looking over her bills

Caught in an endless cycle

In England, nearly two-thirds of privately renting households have no savings at all. It’s shocking but unsurprising, given that on average rent eats up 41% of a household’s monthly income.

With finances stretched to breaking point by expensive private rents, many families are left scraping by month to month, making it impossible to save up for a rainy day or anything else. It’s a stark reminder of the impact of the nation’s housing emergency, which is being fuelled by the chronic lack of affordable homes.

‘Millions of working people are now caught in an endless cycle of paying grossly expensive private rents they can barely afford – with all the insecurity that brings. Many are terrified that even a short-term dip in income could result in them losing their home for good,’ says Polly Neate, Shelter’s chief executive.

With your help, we can change this

We urgently need to take action. To guarantee a safe, secure home for everyone, we’re calling on all political parties to commit to building more genuinely affordable social homes. For millions of people, social housing is the only workable alternative to costly and deeply unstable private renting.

Access to a social home would make a huge difference to the lives of people like Joanna. Instead of struggling to make ends meet each month, Joanna would have the chance to enjoy life with her children in a truly stable home.

To end the housing crisis for good, it’s crucial politicians prioritise building three million new social homes over the next 20 years.

Please sign our petition. With your help, we can turn things around. Thank you.

Sign the petition now

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