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Massive shortfall in affordable rented homes revealed

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19/02/2018
Government plans fall far short of the 600 extra low-cost rented homes a week needed
Massive shortfall in affordable rented homes revealed

Nearly 600 additional low-cost rented homes need to be built every week to fix the broken housing market, according to new analysis from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).

But the independent organisation warned that plans announced by the Government will actually deliver less than 100 new low-cost rented homes a week. This is just one-sixth of the extra supply required.

Unless the Government ramps up the supply of low-cost rented homes, England will see a shortfall of 355,000 affordable homes by the end of the Parliament.

Commit to build

JRF is now calling on the Government to use its forthcoming Social Housing Green Paper to commit to building 78,000 affordable homes a year.

It said that doing so would ease the pressure on families trapped in the expensive and insecure private rented sector.

Across the country, low earners face eye-watering private rents, in particular in London, the South East and Home Counties, where rents are eating up to 40% of their earnings, more than twice the national average.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “The Prime Minister has recognised that the housing market is broken and it’s welcome that the Government wants to get the country building the homes we desperately need. But this must include homes that people on low incomes can afford.

“The Government’s existing plans risk falling far short of the numbers of affordable homes required to ease the strain on families facing eye-watering private rents.

“Voters across all wage brackets want to see action on housing and it is simply not right that so many people in our country are locked out of the opportunity to build a decent and secure life because of crippling housing costs.”

Unaffordable rents

The JRF analysis showed that private rents are unaffordable for low earners in over half (53%) of the country.

In 171 out of 323 English Local Authorities even the cheapest rents are unaffordable for residents in the bottom 25% of local earnings.

In these areas, the cheapest 25% of rents would cost people on low wages more than a third of their earnings every month, a common measure of housing affordability.

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