23 Mar 2023

Cost of living crisis: A spotlight on rural communities

Today we launched the seventh briefing document in our cost of living series as we address the question: “what is the impact of the cost of living crisis on social housing tenants – and how should the sector respond?”

The cost of living crisis continues to place huge pressures on people across the UK. As with previous briefings, we look at what this means in practice, summarising the latest research and data available and shining a spotlight on the impact the crisis is having in rural communities, where rural homelessness has increased by 115 per cent between 2017 and 2020.

Commenting on the latest cost of living briefing Rachael Williamson, head of policy and external affairs at CIH said:

"This latest cost of living briefing shows just how challenging the situation remains for people. Inflation last month rose again (after dropping in January), driven by high energy and food prices. While Winter may be over, the struggle remains very real.

"Our spotlight this month highlights how cost of living pressures can hit rural areas particularly hard, with high energy costs, limited transport and employment opportunities, and lack of affordable housing.

"Benefit rates, including housing allowance, have been inadequate for a long time, but our analysis highlights the huge gap that has developed between the cost of renting and housing benefit allowances. Keeping housing benefit frozen, as the government effectively chose to do at Spring Budget, is making life impossible for many and driving up homelessness"

You can read the full cost of living briefing series here. To contribute to upcoming briefings please email policyandpractice@cih.org