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15 April, 2021 Open access

Number of private renters receiving housing support up by almost half since start of pandemic

Shelter highlights that with LHA rates covering 30 per cent of the market and 45 per cent of private renters needing help to pay their housing costs, there are simply not enough affordable homes to go round

The number of private renters receiving housing support has increased by almost a half since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Shelter has said.

Analysing DWP statistics accessed from Stat-Xplore on 30 March 2021, Shelter reports that 850,000 more households in England are claiming housing support than a year ago - through universal credit or housing benefit - equivalent to an increase of 21 per cent.

In addition, while the figures show that people in all kinds of housing have been affected, Shelter highlights that private renters have been particularly hard hit. For example, as at November 2020 - 

As a result, although the government restored the local housing allowance (LHA) rates to cover the bottom 30 per cent of private rents in March 2020, Shelter points out that, with 45 per cent of those renting privately now needing support to meet their housing costs, there are simply not enough affordable homes to go round.

For more information, see Universal credit alert briefing from shelter.org.uk