Private renting on rise in Mendip

By Laura Linham

9th Jan 2023 | Local News

New data has revealed that home ownership has dropped over the last decade in Mendip while renting households have increased.

Over the past decade, the percentage of households that own their own home across the UK has decreased by 1.8 per cent, to almost two-thirds of households, and the percentage who rent has increased by 3 per cent, to just over a third.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show 9,077 households were renting privately in Mendip when the census was carried out in March 2021 – 18% of the 50,294 households in the area.

At the time of the previous census in March 2011, 15.5% of households were private renters – meaning that the share has increased over the past decade.

The figures also suggest it may be getting harder to get on the property ladder in the first place.

The number of households owning their home through a mortgage, loan or shared ownership fell from 33.4% in 2011 to 28.8% last year.

"Despite an array of supposedly pro-home ownership policies over the past decade, the private rented sector was the fastest-growing tenure," said Dan Wilson Craw, the deputy director of the campaign group Generation Rent. "A million more households are paying high rents to private landlords, face a much greater risk of living in a poor quality home, and live with the threat of eviction at short notice without the chance to appeal."

He added: "In 2019, the government belatedly recognised the need for a much better deal for private tenants, including the abolition of unfair section 21 evictions, but as we start 2023 we are still waiting for the legislation that will make this a reality."

A spokesperson for the Department of Levelling up, Housing and Communities said: "Ensuring a fair deal for renters remains a priority for the government, that's why we will deliver on our commitment to abolish Section 21 'no fault' evictions and introduce a Renters Reform Bill in this Parliament."

While Shelter, a charity that tackles homelessness, said the "only lasting solution" to the housing crisis is to build more social homes.

Polly Neate, chief executive of the charity, said: "It's time for the Government to invest in a new generation of good quality social homes with genuinely affordable rents pegged to local incomes."


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