Rents are now unaffordable for 40% of Stroud tenants - David Drew MP campaigns for 'living rent'
Over two million households paying more than a third of their income in rent
· Stroud tenants spend £700 more each year on rent than five years ago
· Gloucester tenants spend £1,176 more each year on rent than five years ago
New House of Commons analysis released shows that over two million private renting households in England currently pay more than a third of their income in rent.
Spending over a third of income on rent is considered by Shelter and others as a benchmark of whether private renters are paying too much in rent.
44% of private renters are spending over a third of their income on rent. In London this rises 68% or 709,000 households. In the South West 40% of private renters are spending over a third of their income on rent.
Rents are also rising sharply.
In Stroud average monthly rents have risen by 9% since 2014, up from £680 to £739.
In Gloucester the increase is even higher up 17% from £563 to £661 per month.
David Drew, Labour MP for Stroud, said:
“The lack of affordable homes is a key issue for Stroud families. We urgently need more affordable homes as well as more council housing. Decent, affordable housing should not be a luxury. Rents are high and the housing crisis is exacerbated by unfair benefit calculations, which I have raised repeatedly in parliament.”
Official figures show that the building of homes for affordable home ownership has fallen to a 27 year low under the Conservatives and the number of new social rented homes has fallen by over 80%, so we are now building 30,000 fewer socially rented homes each year than under Labour, making it harder for families to meet rising housing costs and impossible to build the homes the country needs.
Labour has pledged to build a million affordable homes over ten years including homes for living rent linked to a third of average local household incomes.
Living rent homes are part Labour’s long-term plan to establish new types of housing linked to what people can afford to pay, not what landlords or developers can get away with charging, and would form part of Labour’s programme to build more new homes of all types, for rent and for sale.
The failure to tackle the rising rent costs has hit the hopes of local people too. In Stroud rent has increased from £680 in 2013-14 to £739 in the last financial year. That’s an increase of £708 a year, or 9% percent.
Commenting, Labour's Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, John Healey MP said:
"After nine years of failure the Conservatives have no plan to fix the cost of housing crisis.
"Millions of people are paying more than they can really afford in monthly rent, while new social housebuilding has dropped to the lowest levels since the Second World War under this Government.
"Labour would build new ‘living rent’ homes priced to be affordable to those on ordinary incomes and young families so they have a bit more for the things they need and can save for a deposit to buy that special first home.”
· The affordability benchmark used by housing industry figures is that private renters should only be paying a third of their income on rent.
· The official English Housing Survey suggests that across England, 2.07m private renting households are paying more than a third of their income in rentSource: House of Commons Library, September 2019
· Under the Conservatives the number of new affordable homes for home ownership has fallen to a 27 year low.
· The number of new social rented homes has fallen by over 80%, so we are now building 30,000 fewer socially rented homes each year than under Labour https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/595369/Live_Table_1000.xlsx
· Under Labour’s proposals, rents for new living homes would be linked to one third of average local earnings. The programme could be paid for within existing Homes and Communities capital budget forecasts.
· Illustrative example: In Manchester, a property let at a living rent could be around £130 cheaper each month than a private flat, allowing a couple to save £4,700 extra towards a home to buy over three years. In Crawley, a living rent home could be £179 cheaper than the prevailing market rent allowing a household to save almost £6,500 extra towards a house to buy.
· Labour has pledged to build a million genuinely affordable homes to rent and buy over 10 years. There has only been one year since the Second World War that the country has built more than 200,000 homes without at least 80,000 of them being council and housing association homes. Fewer than 33,000 ‘affordable’ homes were completed last year, around half the number built in 2010.