Private rents in Sussex unaffordable for working families on low wages

Private rents in Sussex unaffordable for working families on low wages
Private rents in Sussex unaffordable for working families on low wages

New research shows working families on a low wages in Sussex are unable to afford to privately rent without turning to housing benefit.

Shelter said they carried out the research in council areas across the South East, including Sussex.

The housing charity analysed average private rents for two-bedroom homes and compared it with the combined salary of a working family in lower wages.

They said one adult working full-time and another part-time in the region would equate to £25,411 per year after tax and National Insurance.

Shelter’s findings revealed that in all areas assessed across the county, households would be forced to spend at least 30 per cent of their salary on rent.

In Brighton and Hove, families would have to spend 56 per cent of their combined income – before paying for other essential costs such as childcare, food or utility bills.

Below are the figures from Shelter’s research:

Area (Local Authority) – SussexAnnual regional net earnings (based on one FT and one PT wage)Annual median private rent (2 bedroom)% of income spent on private rent  
Brighton and Hove£25,411£14,17255.8%
Mid Sussex£25,411£11,40044.9%


Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said:

“Families in lower-paid jobs are having their bank balances bled dry by the extortionate cost of private rents in many parts of this region.

“The steep decline in social housing across the England has left growing numbers of families caught in a debilitating ‘rent-trap’.

“It’s disgraceful that despite working every hour they can, many parents are forced to rely on housing benefit to keep a roof over their children’s heads.

“It makes no sense to continue haemorrhaging billions of pounds in housing benefit to private landlords, when the government could support families in the South East and beyond by investing in a sustainable, long-term solution to the housing emergency instead.

“The next Prime Minister, whoever that may be, needs to realise social housing is the best cure to the affordability crisis we face.

“The delivery of 3.1 million new social homes over the next twenty years is the only way to lift millions out of housing poverty and into a stable home.”