Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Britain's renting families urgently need help

Dear Mr Jones, A new report by Shelter today reveals that a generation of families are living in unstable, unaffordable and poor quality private homes – and it is children that are bearing the brunt.

1 in 5 families in Britain now rent their home, as the shortage of affordable housing and high cost of home ownership take their toll. These days, just 6% of renters are students.

But our rental market was not set up to provide permanent housing. As a result, it is not always suitable for families.

The result is that many families are struggling to cope with the volatility and unpredictability which characterises much of the sector.

Growing up renting finds 1 in 10 renting families have had to change their children's school due to moving house. This can prove stressful and upsetting for many. With these families nine times more likely to have moved house in the last year than homeowners, 44% of renting parents feel their children would have a better childhood if they had more stability in their home.

As one parent, Helen, told us:

"We have been given notice from our rented house after two years, we have an eight year old who has now lived in nine houses"

Meanwhile, the ever increasing cost of renting is leaving nearly three quarters (72%) of families falling behind on their rent, with many cutting back on food and heating to stay in their homes.

To address these problems, Shelter is calling for political leadership to ensure that all tenants have the option to sign up to more stable, longer-term tenancies like Shelter's proposed Stable Rental Contract. This would meet the needs of both landlords and renters, and provide the right balance between stability and flexibility.

Click here to read our full report, Growing Up Renting.

Do get in touch if you would like to know more.

Kind regards,

Steve

Steve Akehurst
Public Affairs Officer
Shelter
0344 515 1170
07939696839
88 Old Street, London EC1V 9HU