Almost half of UK social housing tenants have no money left after bills
- 03 Nov
A study has found that families in social housing are struggling with rising debt.
A report from Real Life Reform has found that an increasing number of households are growing increasingly concerned about falling into further debt, whilst many are reducing repayments in an attempt to make ends meet each week, reports 24dash.
The report reveals that:
• Average household debt is now £3,931 - a 71.8% increase since the research started in July 2013
• 48% of in-debt households don't know when or if they will ever be able to repay what they owe
• Weekly debt repayments have reduced to an average of £24.66 but repayment periods have extended
• 71% of households are now worried about getting into more debt - a 14% increase since the last report in July 2014
Lisa Pickard, chief executive of Leeds and Yorkshire Housing Association (LYHA) and a member of the Real Life Reform Steering Group, said: "This latest report highlights some very worrying trends, especially around increasing debt. Many households, including those in low-paid employment, are struggling to make ends meet and are borrowing to be able to cope on a week-to-week basis. With average debts reaching almost £4,000, and many unsure when or if debts will be repaid, there are real concerns about people's ability to afford to live in the future. People's ability to cope in the future is of real concern. Our research is showing that work does pay but only for those lucky enough to secure full-time, reasonably paid employment."
Andy Williams, director of neighbourhood services at Liverpool Housing Trust (LHT) and chair of the Real Life Reform steering group, added: "This is our fifth report and each one provides evidence that some tenants appear trapped in a maze. They are borrowing more with little expectation or understanding of when or how they can pay the money back and are, in effect, just storing up debt."
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Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "It was well-run, in a good location, and very useful. I've only one suggestion; as the session went on it would perhaps have been useful for bullet points of general agreement about what should be in the sector response to be displayed and added to as the session went on, maybe on a flip chart. Regarding your response paper, I particularly like the answer you give to question 9. In fact the general: "if it ain't broke don't fix it" response could be pushed harder." M.P. - Adref Ltd