Tenant News

Government research finds private renters hit hardest by pandemic

Em Morley - December 18, 2020

A new government survey has found 511,000 private renter households in England said they were very or fairly likely to fall behind with rent payments in the third quarter of 2020.

In response to these findings, Generation Rent is calling on the Government to increase Local Housing Allowance (LHA) to allow renters to cover their rent, and provide grants to write off rent debt that has built up in the pandemic.

The Government’s English Housing Survey: Household Resilience Study, Wave 1 June-July 2020 report states that private renters are being hit the hardest by the pandemic. The main findings include:

  • The proportion of renters expecting to buy their own home has declined
  • More people are feeling lonely and personal well-being has declined
  • More renters reported finding it difficult to comply with social distancing regulations than owner occupiers
  • Those on furlough were more likely to currently be in rent arrears
  • Those on Universal Credit were more likely to be in rent arrears than those not receiving it

The full report on the statistics can be read here.

Alicia Kennedy, Director of Generation Rent, comments: “These new official figures show just how hard private renters have been hit by the pandemic. Government support has not been enough to stop rent arrears doubling, which is causing severe hardship and crushing the hopes and dreams of thousands.

“To put struggling renters back on their feet, the Government must increase Local Housing Allowance (LHA) to cover average rents and provide grants to clear the rent debts that have built up.”