October 28th, 2016

Warwick district too expensive for families

Warwick district too expensive for families Warwick district too expensive for families
Updated: 3:03 pm, May 07, 2015

FAMILIES are being priced out of living in Warwick district.

A report to Warwick District Council shows an alarming number of families are unable to afford to rent a home.

Even so-called ‘affordable homes’ – where rent is capped at 80 per cent of the full private market rent – are increasingly beyond the purse of many, with just under half of families unable to afford the rent of a three bedroom home, rising to 65 per cent wanting a four bedroom home.

It means families are increasingly having to stretch themselves to pay the rent – which government statistics suggest should take no more than a quarter of household incomes.

In Warwick district this means to meet the cost of renting an ‘affordable home’ an income of nearly £23,000 is needed for a one bed property, rising to approaching 29,000 for a two bed, over £35,000 for a three bed, and almost £50,000 for a four bed property.

And average private rents even outstrip the maximum rent which can be paid for people entitled to full Housing Benefit.

Council chiefs in the district are keen to see the 80 per cent cap reduced to make homes more affordable.

They want to see the cap lowered to somewhere between social rents – paid for the likes of housing association properties- and the current 80 per cent private market rent charge.

Council officers are set to negotiate for lower rents within new developments where affordable housing forms part of the planning agreement.

But Coun Alan Boad, a member of the council’s executive committee, is not hopeful it will make much difference.

He said: “People are paying a much higher proportion of their income than we expected, just to stay in the district.

“There is no sign of reducing private rents in the future from central government so there seems to be no immediate way out of this current solution.”