In 2018-19 CARBS helped with nearly 1300 housing problems. 26% of the people in difficulty were private renters. Citizens Advice reports the equivalent figure at national level was 30%.
This week, the government set out reforms that should lead to a big improvement in the lives of the nearly 5 million people whose homes are in the private rented sector*. Ministers want to:
The changes hold out the prospect of proper security for families. Every member of the community should have the right to put down roots; and private renters must be able to make a complaint without fear of eviction.
Problems with private renting are just one aspect of what is widely described as a housing crisis. CARBS research shows that for many housing is connected with other difficulties, for example problem debt. In 2018-19 over a fifth of the debt problems we helped with were housing-related (chart).
The government should move decisively to implement its plans for the private rented sector. But the mismatch between demand for decent housing and its availability and affordability remains, here in Surrey and elsewhere.
* Government announces end to unfair evictions, Ministry of Communities, Housing and Local Government, 15/04/19
** Scrapping ‘no-fault’ evictions a groundbreaking shake-up of the private rented sector, Citizens Advice, 15/04/19