He said: “It is regularly drummed into us that we need to invest for a comfortable retirement. And yet, when people start building a nest-egg – investing in property to try to ensure they have an income for their retirement – they are reviled.”
Tenants amassed £360 million in rent arrears during the pandemic – with The Big Issue’s Stop Mass Homelessness campaign revealing that the failure to fix this could cost the government £2 billion.
Wilson Craw added that landlords are not essential to the provision of housing.
He said: “Landlords like to think of themselves as ‘housing providers’ but their involvement in providing homes is incidental. If landlords weren’t in the picture, their properties would still exist, many of which previously accommodated people as owner occupiers or council tenants, without a private landlord’s involvement.
“Ultimately, if we want our economy to provide more housing, we shouldn’t be encouraging more people to become landlords and buy up existing houses: we have to get more new homes built.”
When most people think about the Big Issue, they think of vendors selling the Big Issue magazines on the streets – and we are immensely proud of this. In 2022 alone, we worked with 10% more vendors and these vendors earned £3.76 million in collective income. There is much more to the work we do at the Big Issue Group, our mission is to create innovative solutions through enterprise to unlock opportunity for the 14million people in the UK living in poverty.