Campaigns Press Releases Welfare Reform and Homelessness

Benefit cap driving poverty in rental market

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

Responding to today’s report from the National Housing Federation on poverty in the private rented sector, Chris Town, Vice Chair of the RLA said: “The biggest driver of poverty in the private rented sector remains the government’s freeze on Local Housing Allowance rates.

“Support for housing costs is simply failing to keep up with the realities of rented housing and we call on the government to use its spending review to drop the freeze.

“It is though disappointing that today’s report failed to note that the official data shows that the proportion of income spent on private sector rents is falling compared to the social sector where it is increasingly.

“Data also shows that over the last year private sector rents fell in real terms.

“In the end, the best way to ensure rents are affordable is to boost the supply of homes to rent alongside all other tenures.

“This means the government adopting a positive, pro-growth tax regime that supports and encourages the majority of good landlords to provide them.”

The English Housing Survey shows that between 2010-11 and 2017-18, the proportion of household income (including housing benefit) that private sector tenants spent on their rent decreased from 35 per cent to 33 per cent.

In the same period the proportion of household income (including housing benefit) that social renters spent increased from 27 per cent to 28 per cent.

The Office for National Statistics has reported that in the year to December 2018, private sector rents paid by tenants in the UK rose by one per cent, well below inflation.

A report for the RLA by Manchester Metropolitan University has noted that Local Housing Allowance rates are the main driver of tenancy failures in the private rented sector.

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Communications Manager for the RLA and award-winning Editor of RPI magazine. With 16 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and editorial content for our media partners.

She issues press releases promoting the work of the RLA and its policies and campaigns to the regional and national media and works alongside the marketing team on the association’s social media channels to build support for the RLA and its work.

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