15 Jun 2022

CIH cost-of-living briefing series launched

We have launched the first in a series of briefing documents on how the cost-of-living crisis is impacting social housing tenants. This briefing document series summarises research and data showing how the cost-of-living crisis is affecting social housing residents, highlighted by tenant case studies and examines how the various sectors involved are responding.

Each briefing document will provide CIH members, the sector, and other key stakeholders with a synopsis of the most relevant up to date facts, figures, policies and factors on the cost-of-living crisis and its impact on social housing.

The first edition 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.

Future briefings will look at issues including what social landlords are doing in response to the crisis, how changes in benefits have reduced the help available, and how the sector should handle the next round of rent increases.

This first bulletin summarises the current situation. Some briefing highlights include:

  • Work is no longer a guaranteed way out of poverty - 68% of poor families include at least one working adult
  • 11% of poorer households’ budgets are now going on gas and electricity, creating ‘fuel stress’
  • Benefits are not providing level of support needed – worth 11% less than a decade ago
  • This is forcing some impossible decisions, with up to 1 in 4 skipping meals
  • Families in 2022-23 will see fastest fall in living standards since 1950s; disposable incomes expected to see £1,000+ cut
  • Households in poor energy efficiency homes (band D-) are most vulnerable. Worst for the 4.5m people on pre-payment meters (though social housing tenants tend to be in more energy efficient homes)
  • Latest support package from government will make a big difference as it (overall) focuses support on those most in need. BUT only a temporary fix. Long term changes to social security system are needed.

Within the briefing document 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 social rents we need each year

Talking about the cost-of-living briefing series Rachael Williamson, head of policy and external affairs at CIH said:
“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.”

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