3m extra people in poverty after paying their housing costs

York Press: The York-based Joseph Rowntree Foundation claims more than three million people are in poverty after paying their housing costs The York-based Joseph Rowntree Foundation claims more than three million people are in poverty after paying their housing costs

A YORK charity has revealed that more than three million extra people in the UK are in poverty after their housing costs have been paid.

The study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has found housing-costs-induced poverty has been increasing over the last two decades with an extra 3.1 million people classed as being in poverty after their housing costs have been paid.

One million of these are in London, reflecting its high housing costs.

In the private rented sector 18 per cent of private tenants are in poverty before housing costs are taken into account and 38 per cent after housing costs are paid, JRF researchers found.

Meanwhile, in the social sector, 29 per cent of social renters are living in poverty before housing costs and despite sub-market social rents, 43 per cent are classed as living in poverty after housing costs have been paid.

A spokesman for the foundation said: “People’s experience of poverty, material deprivation and housing circumstances are intertwined.

“Housing forms an important part of people’s material living conditions and contributes to their life chances. Greater understanding is required of how poverty and employment traps vary by area and rent levels.

“The significance of the links between housing, poverty and material deprivation deserves greater recognition in policy”.

For over 20 years, home-owners have made up more than half of people living in poverty before housing costs in the UK.

Although they receive only two per cent of all state support for housing costs, home-owners are less likely to be living without essential items than tenants on the same income.

However, after housing costs are taken into account, home-owners make up only 37 per cent of those in poverty, because many have paid off mortgages and have low or no housing costs.

The foundation said the most widely used definition of poverty in the UK and across Europe describes individuals as experiencing poverty if their household income is below 60 per cent of the national median, after taking into account the number of adults and children in the household.

Around a fifth of the UK population experience poverty in any given year, but around a tenth experience “persistent poverty”, defined as having a poverty income in at least three out of four years.

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