Yesterday The Big Issue reported on Shelter’s research into how private renting has impacted on tenants’ health as well as how the end of the Local Housing Allowance freeze does little to change the reality for renters. Below, the charity’s chief executive explains more:
The freeze on housing benefit has been an unmitigated disaster. Private rents rose while benefit rates stayed stuck, and people across the country struggled to bridge the gap – leading to homelessness, debt and poverty for many.
For years there has been every sign that politicians are happy to turn the other cheek while people on housing benefit are stressed, anxious and sick with worry.
New research by Shelter has shown that over half of private renters receiving housing benefit (57 per cent, an estimated 855,000 people) have experienced stress and anxiety as a direct result of housing concerns, like affording the rent, poor conditions and the threat of eviction.
Nearly half (48 per cent, an estimated 727,000 people) said their housing situation kept them awake at night. People also said they were left feeling hopeless (46 per cent, an estimated 690,000 people).
These figures are all higher than those for private renters not on housing benefit. And sadly, they are not surprising, given the circumstances people are expected to deal with.