After benefits and debt, the problem on the minds of more Citizens Advice clients than any other in 2019 was housing.
Over 650 people asked for help.
They faced issues ranging from the threat of homelessness to disputes with the neighbours.
Privately rented property led to more difficulty than any other housing issue. Poor maintenance, rent and charges, and fights over deposits came up frequently. This is no surprise given the chronic shortage of satisfactory accommodation and our location effectively in outer London.
Perhaps more worrying was the link between housing and debt.
Rent, mortgage and council tax arrears were big headaches for households struggling with problem debt.
There are no easy solutions. But next year Reigate and Banstead Borough Council begins work on objectives in its bold 2025 borough plan. Improving housing opportunities is a core element – read the council delivery strategy.
Through contact with clients on the front line CARBS has a useful picture of things that go wrong as families try to find a secure accommodation.
In 2020 we will share our insights with the Council team on housing and other issues facing R&B residents.