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Shelter shows the strain

publication date: Dec 28, 2009
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Shelter’s latest report has revealed that 1.3 million households are under mental and emotional strain caused by financial difficulties.

Landlords are also finding the going tough, with more than 40 per cent either struggling sometimes or in constant financial difficulty. Some are even questioning their future in the PRS which could give tenants even more to worry about if their landlords decide to sell.

Shelter and MAT commissioned YouGov to survey 745 tenants on household incomes below £20,000 (£25,000 in London) and 440 landlords from the National Landlord’s Association to review the impact of the recession across the PRS.
Since similar research was carried out in 2006, the numbers of struggling households has increased by 56 per cent.

60 per cent of tenants receiving housing benefit receive less than the cost of their rent, with almost a quarter making up a difference of more than £49 per week.

Kay Boycott, director of policy and campaigns at Shelter, said: “This research paints a depressing picture of the daily battle faced by tenants at the lower end of the private rented sector, with many barely able to keep their heads above water.

"While we welcome the help that’s available for homeowners in arrears, private tenants who are struggling to keep their homes should not be forgotten. The government must recognise the significant role the private rented sector is playing in bearing the brunt of this recession by increasing funding for advice and support services, and setting out a long-term vision for the sector.”

Meanwhile, the Bank Of England is announcing that people with mortgages are "now £130 better off" thanks to falling interest rates and lower mortgage payments. Set against the estimated £13,800 the bank bail-out has cost every person in Britain, not to mention the ridiculously over inflated price of the house and mortgage in the first place, one is tempted to rush out and spend it all on lager and cheap wine.