JRF Response to the Housing White Paper consultation

Brian Robson

How do we build more affordable homes, and make the private rented sector work for people on low incomes?

Fixing our broken housing market is critical to solving poverty. For many people, high rental costs make the difference between just about managing and not being able to manage at all: poverty in the private rented sector has doubled in the last decade, leaving millions trapped in insecure, expensive housing. JRF is an independent organisation working to inspire social change through research, policy and practice. Uniquely, we also run a housing association and care provider, the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust. We are therefore well-placed to comment on many of the issues covered by the Housing White Paper.

Our broken housing market has led to rising poverty and insecurity. There are 3.5 million more people in poverty in the UK after accounting for housing costs. The White Paper shows that Government recognises the scale of the problem, but solutions must go further.

  • We need a long-term strategy to build more affordable homes of all types. A Living Rents development framework would help ordinary families, and accelerate housing delivery.
  • The renewed focus on renting is welcome, but further action is needed now to make the private rented sector work for people in poverty.
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