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‘Onslaught’ of tenants will be unable to afford rent as research shows 1.7m believe they could lose jobs

By April 16, 2020National News

From the Independent

A prominent housing charity has warned of an “onslaught” of people unable to afford their rent, suggesting 1.7 million believe they will lose their jobs in the next three months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Highlighting risks of spiralling debt and “needless evictions” in the summer months, new research from Shelter claims nearly one in four renters (24 per cent) in England have already seen their incomes fall or lost their jobs.

According to polling carried out by YouGov for the charity – after the government unveiled the coronavirus job retention scheme – 23 per cent also said losing their job will leave them unable to pay their rent immediately.

Shelter added that 19 per cent of the 498 renters who responded said they believed it was either very or fairly likely they will become unemployed in the next three months. Using data from the Office for National Statistics, the charity estimated this would amount to 1,696,000 million private renters in England.

The organisation said that a growing number of people will be forced to rely on welfare payments for the first time due to covid-19, and urged the government to increase housing benefit so that it covers the average costs of local rents.

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