Question Tjavanga Art, Media & Literature

Potential government efforts to reduce poverty in relation to housing

What could the government implement to reduce poverty in terms of housing support?

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Answer Internal Staff

It is evident that in the UK there is a strong link between housing and poverty. However, what is not necessarily apparent is that the stats often do not tell the whole story. Approximately 5% of the UK population experience poverty once the cost of housing on their income is considered. While cost is not considered a large number of people are not receive the help they need as they appear not to be below the poverty line. To put this in numbers, less than 20% of private tenants are in poverty before housing costs are considered, however the figure is almost 40% once the cost of housing has been considered (Tunstall et al, 2013).

With this in mind it is clear the Governmental policy needs to pay greater attention to the links between income, housing and poverty. To reduce poverty in relation to housing the aim is clear, to reduce housing costs, particularly for those who are renting. Several ideas have been put forward in recent years, these include a large investment in social housing, either to maintain or preferably develop the state that has not recovered from the Thatcher era. This could be helped by limiting the cost of social housing in comparison to the private sector, as currently very little can be done about their increasing costs of renting in the private sector as costs continue to spiral upward relatively uncontrolled.

As well as the cost of housing, living conditions must also be monitored, if people living in poverty are living in bad housing conditions their health will likely be adversely affected limiting their chance of gaining long term employment, entrenching them in a poverty cycle with little to no way out. One way to help break the cycle would be to build more homes in cheaper locations, not only will this create work for people with limited skill sets, it will also give them homes to stay in. The location should be carefully considered so that homes are still in an area with high employment rates.

References

Tunstall R, Bevan M, Bradshaw J, Croucher K, Duffy S, Hunter C, Jones A, Rugg J, Wallace A, Wilcox S. 2013. The links between housing and poverty [Online]. Available at: https://www.jrf.org.uk/report/links-between-housing-and-poverty