Homelessness charity Shelter are claiming to have uncovered the “real cost of renting” after revealing that England’s private renters pay £11 billion more than they can afford on rent.
That amounts to £425 a month per household, the charity said after analysing government data on private rent and incomes.
With rent eating up 41 per cent of income – widely accepted measures of affordability say rent should take up no more than 30 per cent – 2.2 million households are being forced to scramble just to keep a roof over their head.
As ever, people on lower incomes are hardest-hit, accounting for 37 per cent of the £11bn collective overspend.
“Hugely unaffordable rents are dominating daily life for millions of people, forcing them to rely on costly credit cards or borrow what they can from family and friends,” said Shelter chief executive Polly Neate. “Our services see the real cost of private renting, which is leaving parents struggling to put food on the table or turn the heating on, while also keeping a roof over their children’s heads.
“When someone is forced to spend hundreds more than they can afford on rent each month, it’s clear that private renting isn’t working for everyone.