Quarter of poor families struggle with housing costs

One in four low-to-middle income households are spending more than 35 per cent of their income on housing, a report has found.

The study from the Resolution Foundation think tank has found 1.3 million low-income families across Britain are spending more than they can afford on housing.

Of the 1.3 million, 590,000 are private renters, 585,000 are homeowners with a mortgage, and 100,000 are social renters. The think tank says there are 5.6 million working age households that fall into the low-to-middle income bracket across Britain.

Unsurprisingly the problems are worst in London and the south east, where housing costs are highest, with 31 per cent of those affected living in these two areas.  The south west and north west and Mersey also have relatively high numbers of families, with 10 per cent and 11 per cent of the affected households respectively.

Vidhya Alakeson, deputy chief executive of the Resolution Foundation and joint author of the report, said: ‘We’ve become used to the idea that buying a property is now an impossible dream for millions of people on low to middle incomes – in a typical case it would take 22 years just to save the deposit. But increasingly, private rent is also becoming unaffordable even though, for many families, it is the only option.’

The Resolution Foundation figures are based on research from property information business Hometrack and the government’s family resources survey. They will feed into a more in-depth report on housing affordability to be published later in the summer.