With little or no savings to fall back on, 44% of private renters in the North West could not afford to pay their rent for more than a month if they lost their job, new research from Shelter shows.
Surviving from one paycheque to the next the Shelter and YouGov study found that almost 360,000 private renters living in the North West could be just one paycheque away from losing their home. What is worse, a job loss would render 232,000 of these workers immediately unable to pay their rent.
Looking at the national picture, the situation is particularly bleak for families with children in England. The charity found that a staggering 60%, or 760,000 working families who rent privately could be just one paycheque away from losing their home.
This concerning snapshot of life for struggling renters’ chimes with the government’s own figures, which reveal 63% of private renting households in England have no savings at all. Sadly, this is not surprising given they spend on average 41% of their monthly income on rent costs – making it incredibly difficult for private renters to put anything aside.
Shelter is using its latest findings to argue for more social homes as the only stable and genuinely affordable alternative to private renting for millions of people. With the country in a state of political and economic uncertainty, the charity is urging all parties not to side-line the housing crisis, and to ensure social housebuilding is at the centre of any domestic agenda.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “By allowing the number of genuinely affordable social homes to plummet, politicians have super-charged our housing emergency.
“Tens of thousands of working people in the North West 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.
“Warm words and piecemeal policies will not solve this deepening crisis. The only way politicians can fix what has gone so wrong is with a clear commitment from every party to deliver three million more social homes over the next 20 years.”