UK Poverty 2019/20: Housing

It’s not right that high private rents are pulling low-income households into poverty.

We all need somewhere to live, so it’s unacceptable that many of us are shut out of having a secure, affordable home.

Increasing numbers of families with children are being caught in poverty’s grip because of high private rents, as well as a raft of changes to social security policy, which have made housing less affordable.

Over a third of people in private-rented housing are locked in poverty. With limited access to social housing and unable to afford to buy, an increasing number of low-income families with children now live in the private-rented sector.

Meanwhile in our ever-decreasing supply of social housing, 45% live in poverty. Social tenants, many of whom are disabled, carers, elderly or single parent families, are being trapped in poverty by rent rising faster than inflation over the last 20 years.

By contrast, just one in eight (including many pensioners), who own a property outright are in poverty. As expected, they consistently have the lowest housing costs. Finally, around one in ten people buying with a mortgage are in poverty.

Changes that will help

  • We need to increase the amount of low-cost housing available for families on low incomes, and increase support for those with high housing costs.
  • We also need to address the sense of insecurity felt by many people living in the private rented sector.


Talking about poverty

We’ve taken the launch of our new UK Poverty report as an opportunity to release a new edition of our Talking About Poverty toolkit. This straightforward guide gives you the key messages from our latest content and findings and is designed to support you – our friends and allies campaigning to turn the tide on UK poverty – to prepare a quality response, tell a well-framed story on the issues you’re concerned about, and join us to call for action. Together, we can be a collective voice for change that’s impossible to ignore.