Shelter Report Says Over Half Of Private Rents 'Unaffordable'
Over half of private rents in England are unaffordable, according to a report by the housing charity Shelter.
Their research shows 55% of rents cost more than 35 per cent of the median average take home pay within an area, the standard measure of affordability - and they're rising dramatically. The charity said the figures were a "wake-up call".
On Thursday morning their chief executive Campbell Robb said working families were being "priced out": "Mostly what we're talking about here is families who are trying hard".
Shelter's Private Rent Watch report highlighted how 38% of families are cutting down on essentials like food to afford rent. Robb told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the government needed to bring out initiatives immediately, saying "the governent can do more to help people that are really struggling."
And he said it was time to build more homes.
In 8 per cent of local authorities in England, rents were "extremely unaffordable" - and the geographic breakdown showed areas like Hereforshire were worst hit.
Housing minister Grant Shapps said the government was taking measures to cut red tape: "This Government recognises the importance of the private rented sector in providing accessible and affordable accommodation. We have stopped the imposition of excessive new red tape on the private rented sector, which would have pushed up rents and reduced choice for tenants.
"We also need to build more homes given new house building fell to its lowest peacetime levels since the 1920s under the last administration. Our housing initiatives include freeing up disused public land to build more homes, rewarding councils for helping build more homes through a New Homes Bonus."