28 Jul 2022

How the cost of living crisis is impacting social housing tenants

Today we’ve launched the second in a series of briefing documents on how the cost of living crisis is impacting social housing tenants. This summarises the latest research and data, with housing provider and tenant case studies.

Some briefing highlights include:

  • UK inflation hit a new 40-year high of 9.4%. Housing and energy costs have increased by 19.6% since June 2021 (ONS)
  • 4.4 million households – one in six – are now estimated to be in “serious financial difficulties” (Financial Fairness Trust)
  • Inflation is highest in the UK’s poorest cities, with a clear north-south divide (Centre for Cities)
  • Demographics are affected differently. Single female and BAME households are experiencing 50% higher costs than their male and white counterparts (respectively) as a portion of their income (New Economics Foundation)
  • The Chancellor’s support package, although welcome to tackle rising energy costs, does not go far enough - 2.3m households have already gone without heating and eating. Government debt deductions are exacerbating the problem.
  • Case studies from social housing providers The Riverside Foundation, Grand Union Housing Group, Midland Heart, Flagship Group and Newydd Housing Association highlight some of the ways in which the sector is responding to help.

Within the briefing, we call on government to:

  • Provide enough help with housing costs and restore £20 uplift for Universal Credit claimants
  • Bring forward investment on net zero with long-term plans to tackle poor energy efficient homes
  • Invest in a long-term strategy to end homelessness, provide good quality temporary accommodation, and invest in supported housing
  • Increase grant levels to provide homes at the social rents we need each year.

The next briefing, due to be published in September, will look at how changes in benefits have reduced the help available and what further government support is needed.

Follow us on Twitter @CIH_policy to find out about upcoming briefings or contact us directly at policyandpractice@cih.org

Rachael Williamson  |  head of policy and external affairs at CIH

The cost of living crisis is having a huge effect across society, with social housing tenants some of the hardest hit. Our aim in creating this cost-of-living series is to provide a succinct, insightful summary of the latest research and statistics alongside resident voice and sector response. We hope you find this a useful briefing to inform your understanding.

CIH cost of living crisis bulletins
CIH cost of living crisis issue 2

The second CIH cost of living crisis bulletin examines how the cost of living crisis is impacting social housing tenants.

CIH cost of living crisis issue 1

The first CIH cost of living crisis bulletin looks at how the crisis is growing and why, the effects on household bills, how much help the government is providing, and evidence of how the crisis affects social tenants.