The private renters trapped in Britain’s new slums (The Guardian, 13 Apr 2019)

  • The private renters trapped in Britain’s new slums

  • By Tom Wall. Published in the Guardian on 13 April 2019

  • Summary:

    • The stark human cost of Britain’s decade-long austerity drive, welfare reforms and warped housing priorities can be glimpsed in 11 decaying flats carved from what was once a grand Victorian terrace home in Weston-super-Mare. (...)

    • These are the new slums of Britain – a tenure of unsafe and unaffordable housing with few routes out. The people trapped here would have once have had the chance of moving into relatively spacious, well-equipped council homes at genuinely affordable rents. But, due to the failure of successive governments to build enough social housing, that is an option open only for a vanishingly small minority of people in the most extreme circumstances.

    • Exclusive analysis of official figures by the academic duo at the forefront of research into the private rental sector, Julie Rugg and David Rhodes, shows that 90% of the 1.4 million households renting on low incomes in England are being put at risk by harmful living conditions and/or pushed further into poverty and possible eviction by rents they cannot afford.

    • Nearly 30% are living in non-decent homes, 10% are living in overcrowded properties and 85% are in “after housing cost poverty”, which means their rent pushes them below the poverty line.

  • Keywords: slums, England, United Kingdom, UK, housing crisis, affordability, rental market, social housing, Julie Rugg, David Rhodes

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