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Benefit cap driving poverty in rental market

Responding to a new report from the National Housing Federation on poverty in the private rented sector, Chris Town, vice chair at the Residential Landlords Association said: “The biggest driver of poverty in the private rented sector remains the Government’s freeze on Local Housing Allowance rates. Support for housing costs is simply failing to keep up with the realities of rented housing and we call on the Government to use its spending review to drop the freeze.

“In the end, the best way to ensure rents are affordable is to boost the supply of homes to rent alongside all other tenures. This means the Government adopting a positive, pro-growth tax regime that supports and encourages the majority of good landlords to provide them.”

The English Housing Survey shows that between 2010-11 and 2017-18, the proportion of household income (including housing benefit) that private sector tenants spent on their rent decreased from 35% to 33%. In the same period the proportion of household income (including housing benefit) that social renters spent increased from 27% to 28%.

The Office for National Statistics has reported that in the year to December 2018, private sector rents paid by tenants in the UK rose by 1%, which is well below inflation.

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