Nearly one in five private renting parents fear they will become homeless as a result of the Covid crisis, new research from Shelter shows.
The new polling carried out by YouGov for Shelter, revealed parents living in privately rented homes are almost twice as likely to be worried about homelessness than parents living in secure social homes.
The charity has warned that a “chronic” lack of social housing is leaving families with few options to escape the insecurity of private renting as the economic lockdown continues to ease, according to a new report.
Shelter Chief Exec Polly Neate: “Families are going hungry and taking on risky debt to pay private rent, and yet for too many even these sacrifices won’t be enough to avoid homelessness.
“These parents need a way out of living hand to mouth, but so far, the government has offered them no alternative to private renting.
“This must change if we are ever going to build this country back better.”
Around one in seven respondents said they had cut back on food in recent months to help pay their rent, and one in five had taken on debt, such as an overdraft or payday loan.
David Renard, Local Government Association housing spokesman, commented:
“Councils have serious concerns about the risk of homelessness many private renters face as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
“We are clear that building 100,000 social homes a year must form a central part of the national recovery.
“To give further protection to private tenants, the Government should also bring forward its pledge to end ‘no-fault evictions’ and commit to maintaining local housing allowance rates at the lowest third of market rents, so that tenants have greater security and households can meet their housing costs.”
A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokesman said: “The Government has taken unprecedented action to support renters during the pandemic.
“We have put in place a support package to help prevent people getting into financial hardship or rent arrears and ensured no-one has been forced from their home this summer as a result of the pandemic.
“New court rules will also require landlords to set out information about a tenant’s circumstances in light of the pandemic when bringing a possession claim.
“Over the next five years Government will invest £12 billion in affordable housing, the largest investment in affordable housing in a decade, delivering up to 180,000 new affordable homes. We’ve abolished the borrowing cap so councils can build more social homes.”