Poverty caused by Housing Costs is increasing

  • Housing costs rising are increasing rising poverty, particularly in the private sector, so will increased if bedroom tax encourages the move to the private sector due to lack of social housing.

    The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) have released a report showing the links for how housing can increase poverty, and poverty caused by housing costs has continually increased in the last two decades.

    The JRF report shows the significant impact that housing has in increasing poverty, with an extra 3.1 million people moving in to poverty after their housing costs are paid.

    It shows the importance of keeping housing costs low and affordable,  but also good quality housing. Housing can make a big difference to how povery can affect people's lives and the scale of the impact it has, which reflects in society as a whole.

    The number of people in 'housing cost induced poverty' (not poor before housing costs but poor once they are taken into account) has increased over the past two decades.

    In the social sector, 29% of social renters are living in poverty before housing costs. Even despite low rents as social housing is targetted at those with a low income, 43% are living in poverty after housing costs have been paid.

    However in the private housing sector, 18 per cent of private tenants in poverty before housing costs are taken into account and 38 per cent in poverty after housing costs are paid.

    These figures are likely to increase following the effect of bedroom tax, as those in the social sector will either receive a lower rate of housing benefit if they have a spare bedroom, or else move to a different house.

    As there are not enough smaller houses in the social sector, this is likely to mean most will move to the private rented sector, increasing the amount of people on benefits in the private sector and also more likely to increase their rent and the amount being paid out.

    Judging from the facts found by JRF, this is likely to push more people into poverty.

    The key message from the report is that the government needs to pay closer attention to links between housing and poverty.

    They also need to increase their efforts to reduce poverty need to consider limiting rent costs, maintaining good housing conditions in all tenures and monitoring the impact of welfare reform cuts.

    Read the full report by JRF.

     


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