Thousands of social houses could be lost

Housing could be lost.
Housing could be lost.

Experts believe more than 2,500 of Northumberland’s cheapest rental homes could be lost between 2012 and 2020.

And one property campaigner believes this is ‘yet more evidence of the burning need to give renters a better deal’.

Government figures released earlier this month showed that the total number of affordable homes available at social rent in the UK fell by more than 120,000 between 2012 and 2016.

Forecasters at the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) predict that this will rise to 250,000 by 2020 – an overall drop of 10 per cent.

If these figures were replicated across the North East, it would leave 25,951 fewer of the cheapest rental homes in the region and 2,584 in Northumberland.

The CIH believes new socially-rented homes are ‘desperately needed’ to address this ‘significant decline’, but property expert Ajay Jagota believes there is a quicker and cheaper way to help the less-well-off into housing.

The anti-deposit campaigner, founder of sales and lettings firm KIS and deposit-free renting solution Dlighted, said: “This is yet more evidence of the burning need to give renters a better deal.

“It’s no secret that there has been a long-term shift in the UK away from social housing towards the private rented sector. The problem is that the private rented sector hasn’t necessarily evolved to meet the needs of that demand.

“The biggest example of that is tenancy deposits, which place a huge financial burden on some of our poorest tenants – leaving good people left priced out of good homes rented from good landlords.

“If privately-rented homes are the future, why is the privately-rented sector stuck in the past?”