Monday, 23 January 2017

Sharp rise in the number of tenants struggling with the basic costs of living

Landlords hand out food parcels to tenants

Social landlords are increasingly having to provide food parcels for residents struggling to meet rising living costs as austerity bites.

Housing associations and councils have reported a sharp rise in the number of tenants struggling to make ends meet over the past few months.

Carol Carter, director of housing at 48,000-home Hyde Group, said: ‘Hyde is seeing an increase in some customers having difficulties purchasing basic household goods, including food.’

Hyde became a registered distributor of food vouchers with charity the Trussell Trust for the first time in the summer. The association has since distributed more than 50 vouchers to tenants and plans to work with more food banks to meet ‘growing need’.

Similarly 57,000-home, Affinity Sutton has sent 40 food parcels with charity the Hope Foundation and Bromley Food Bank over the past month. The association has arranged a further 62 packages to be sent out over Christmas.

Keith Exford, chief executive of Affinity Sutton, said many of the recipients were employed people in low-paid jobs. He warned the government’s plans to cap rises in most working-age benefits, including local housing allowance, to 1 per cent, will exacerbate the problem.

Mr Exford said: ‘We are finding an increasing number of residents are reliant on food banks to help feed themselves.’

Bradford-based Incommunities is donating £1,000 in cash and food to a food bank after staff noticed an increase in demand.

Nigel Minto, head of housing at London Councils, said there had ‘definitely’ been a rise in food banks and authorities were thinking about what they could to do to help.

Thurrock Council in Essex plans to make a building available as a permanent base for use by a food bank to help it cope with the greater demand for food parcels. Increased demand across the UK has led the Trussell Trust to feed 110,000 people in the first six months of 2012/13 compared to 128,697 in the whole of 2011/12.

Readers' comments (11)

Comments are only open to subscribers of Inside Housing

Already a subscriber?

If you’re already a subscriber to Inside Housing, your subscription may not be linked to your online account. You can link your subscription from within the My Account section of the website and clicking on Link My Account.

Not yet a subscriber?

If you don't yet subscribe to Inside Housing, please visit our subscription page to view our various subscription packages.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register

Newsletter Sign-up



  • LSE: "Accidental landlords" freeze out first-time buyers

    30 September 2016

    Would-be first-time buyers are being frozen out of the market by richer households who cling on to their old home as a rental investment when trading up, a study has found.

  • Merger fever: the tenants' view

    30 August 2016

    Tenants are helping to devise an alternative merger code. Carl Brown finds out why

  • Helping hand

    25 July 2016

    Social landlords have a duty to help tenants into work, says Ian Simpson

  • Goldsmith sets out housing vision

    23 March 2016

    The London mayoral Conservative candidate has set out his housing plans for the capital.

  • Councils hand back £46m RTB cash

    5 February 2016

    Town halls have handed almost £50m in unspent Right to Buy cash earmarked for replacement council housing to the government, claiming rules make it impossible to spend.

IH Subscription