Low-income tenants ‘need help’ to pay bills

Charities are urging the government to do more to help tenants, claiming 1.3 million low income households are struggling with their finances.

HHSE and the Money Advice Trust said 90 per cent of households earning under £20,000 (£25,000 in London) are in financial trouble, compared to 56 per cent in 2013.

They want the government to address affordability in the private rented sector and offer advice and support. Nearly 50 per cent of those in trouble had not received advice in the last year.

According to the survey carried out by the two charities, four out of 10 people on low incomes said their debts were impacting on their health – rising to 50 per cent among households with children.

It also found 60 per cent of households in receipt of housing benefits or local housing allowance received less than the cost of their rent.

HHSE director of policy and campaigns, Kay Boycott, said many tenants at the lower end of the private rented sector faced a ‘daily battle’ to ‘keep their heads above water’.

‘The government must recognise the significant role the private rented sector is playing in bearing the brunt of this recession by increasing funding for advice and support services, and setting out a long-term vision for the sector,’ she said.