Rent levels spark social housing debate

Private renters in Northumberland fork out more than £200 extra a month on average to keep a roof over their heads than those in social homes, new figures show.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 4:58 pm
Private rent levels row

Housing campaigners have slammed the Government for not doing more to support renters in its Budget after the Chancellor announced additional help for home buyers

The average weekly rent for a social home in the area was £71 in March last year, Regulator of Social Housing figures show – about £307 per month.

Office for National Statistics data shows the average private rent in the area was £538 – around £231 more expensive.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

In the Budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an extension of the stamp duty holiday, suspending the tax on all property sales up to £500,000 until June and a mortgage guarantee scheme so home-buyers can get mortgages with 5% deposits more easily.

Polly Neate, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, said: “The Budget was completely out of touch with the reality most renters face.

“Social housing is the best cure for the housing emergency and the only way to lift millions out of housing poverty.

“That’s why the Government must invest in new social homes, to create genuinely affordable homes for those who desperately need one.”

A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokeswoman said “Alongside First Homes, Shared Ownership, our £12bn investment in affordable housing and our Help to Buy scheme, the Chancellor announced a new mortgage guarantee scheme that will help thousands more take their first step into a home they own.”