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 "Sincere thanks to Michael Patterson for an excellent presentation on the HB Reform issues in Leeds last week, and for all the very helpful info and links. I do intend to respond on behalf of our organisation, Caring For Life, but feel that Support Solutions' response is excellent." E.S. - Caring for Life