On 17 March, ITV’s Tonight programme covered the private rental housing crisis in Britain today. The end of the episode featured Cindy, John, Sue, and Linda, who shared their experiences and fears about being evicted from Wordsworth Drive and Sugar Hill Close and having nowhere to go. As John said, the landlord has made a lot of money from us over the years – and now everyone is being forced out of their beloved homes with nowhere to go… all so Pemberstone can make even more.
The show puts rental challenges in a national context, and the outlook is depressing. Fewer than 6,000 social houses were built last year, which is nowhere near enough to absorb the 1 million+ people on council housing waiting lists, or the 250,000 currently in emergency accommodation. Presenter Daniel Hewitt also highlighted that competition for private rents has increased by 94% in the last year – and with hikes in private rental rates, the bulk of that competition will be concentrated around the smattering of “affordable” rented properties. That’s exactly what we’ve experienced, as residents have been turned away time and again for rental viewings (let alone applications!) because estate agents have already had “too much interest”.
Some of our neighbours have moved out of the Oulton estate already but, just like other people featured in the programme, they are now paying rent rates that are unaffordable and unsustainable over the longer term. As Linda explained – “It’s just as if the rug has been fulled from under your feet, there’s nothing to do, nowhere to go, and no help’s coming”.
Losing Your Home – The True Cost – Tonight
Series 24 – Episode 9– Millions in the UK rent privately, but with a growing cost-of-living crisis emerging, there are warnings that a new wave of evictions could be imminent.