A recent report by the Resolution Foundation used data from a new YouGov survey of 10,470 UK adults to examine how the cost-of-living crisis is affecting people’s ability to meet their housing costs, how it varies across tenure, and the implications for households’ financial resilience and personal wellbeing in the months ahead.
It found that between January 2021 and November 2022, the share of households falling behind on or struggling to meet their housing costs jumped from 26pc to 44pc.
Among private renters, 8pc said they had fallen behind on housing payments in the three months to November. A further 53pc said that they had met their housing costs, but had struggled to do so.
The report warned that those who were struggling in November are more likely to fall behind on housing payments as the cost of living crisis continues over the coming months. One in eight private renters said they were “very worried” about covering their payments in the next three months.
One of the reasons why the cost of living crisis has had a more dramatic impact on people’s ability to meet their housing costs is because government support is much more limited compared to during the pandemic.
Local housing allowance rates, for example, have been frozen since the start of the Covid outbreak, despite enormous jumps in rent.
Landlords are also being much less lenient. In January 2021, 6pc of renters said they had been given a rent reduction. In November the share was just 3pc – but a further one in seven had asked for a cut and been turned down (more than double the 6pc rejection rate in January 2021).
Many buy-to-let investors with mortgages will have far less financial leeway. Rising interest rates have also brought much greater strain for mortgaged homeowners.
Between January 2021 and November 2022, the share of borrowers behind on or struggling to meet their housing costs nearly doubled from 27pc to 50pc.