Nearly one in eight private renters cannot meet their housing costs in full, according to a new report.
Independent British think tank The Resolution Foundation has revealed that private and social renters are bearing the cost of redundancies during the coronavirus recession, warning that more are likely to fall behind with housing costs than people with a mortgage.
The report, based on a survey of more than 6,000 adults in the UK, said that urgent measures needed to be taken to protect households as the country enters a second lockdown.
Despite some improvement in the UK labour market since the spring, housing costs continue to be a serious concern for many as they struggle to cover rent and mortgage payments.
Around 8% of private renters and 7% of social renters have lost their jobs since the start of the pandemic, compared to just 3% of those paying a mortgage.
Lindsay Judge, the research director at The Resolution Foundation, said: “As lockdown measures continue to ramp up around the UK, high housing costs are making the ongoing economic situation even worse for many families.”
The National Residential Landlords Association added that up to 300,000 renters are still on the chancellor’s furlough scheme, which is set to end on Saturday 31 October, and could lose their jobs as a result. It called on the government to launch a new stimulus for renters.
Renters in England need interest-free government loans, similar to schemes seen in Wales and Scotland, the lobby group said.
Earlier this week rental technology firm Flatfair said that up to a quarter of private renters could fall into arrears in towns and cities most impacted by the coronavirus.
It comes as England is set to be placed in a second lockdown. Non-essential shops and hospitality will have to close under these measures, and travel will be under new restrictions.
On Saturday, the total number of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began hit 1,011,660.
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