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Evidence of households struggling to meet their housing costs

According to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ (DLUHC) English Housing Survey, in 2020/21 around a quarter of private and social renters said they found it either fairly or very difficult to afford their rent.

Around 6% of owner-occupiers with mortgages said they found it fairly or very difficult to keep up with mortgage payments.

Research published by Ipsos in June 2022 recorded “a significant proportion of Britons” as “worried about their ability to pay their rent or mortgage”. 54% of renters were already worried about their ability to pay the rent.

Private sector rents 

A majority of private tenants in the UK pay a market rent which is not subject to independent controls or assessment. Assistance with rent payments through the social security system is restricted. According to the ONS’s Index of Private Housing Rental Prices: August 2022, private rental prices increased by 3.4% over the 12 months to August 2022.

Social sector rents 

Social rents in England and Wales are currently set to increase by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 1% for five years from 2020. In England, the Government is consulting on the introduction of a rent ceiling in 2023/24 to protect tenants from the effect of high inflation.

The Scottish Government has announced a rent freeze and a ban on evictions which will apply to both private and social housing sectors.

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