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News / 26 April, 2012

Renting unaffordable for Hackney families earning less than £61,000

With home ownership out of reach and rents rocketing, many couples are considering moving out

i am here by fugitive images

Photograph: Fugitive Images

Renting a two bedroom home in Hackney is unaffordable for families earning less than £61,200, according to research by homeless charity Shelter.

The study looked at how much families need to earn to afford to rent a two bedroom home, defining ‘affordable’ as rent taking up a third or less of household income.

It found a Hackney family would need to take home more than £3,960 each month, the equivalent of a yearly pre-tax salary of £61,200. With the typical London household income less than £35,000, the charity is warning that growing numbers of families are at crisis point, paying up to half of their income in rent each month.

Lucinda and her partner, both 30, are teachers renting a one bedroom flat near Hackney City Farm. After living in London for the past eight years, they can no longer afford to stay and are moving to Sheffield this summer.

Lucinda said: “I love London but we can’t stay here. It’s not sustainable. We’ve weighed up the quality of life between living here and in Sheffield where we can afford to rent a four bed place with a garden. There’s no contest really. We can’t afford to rent a big enough place let alone buy anywhere.”

The couple’s rent is £1,000 a month (£500 each) and Lucinda, earns £19,000. She is paying nearly half of her wages on rent and has little disposable income.

Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: “The [report’s] findings paint a worrying picture of families across Hackney being stretched to the limit by the cost of renting, praying they won’t be hit by another rent rise that could tip them over the edge.

“As so many Londoners are locked out of home ownership, more and more families have no other option but to rent. But with rents now so out of touch with wages some families are spending over half of their income just to keep a roof over their head, leaving little left for food, fuel and other essentials.”

The report found that inflation rose on private rents in London by seven percent in 2011, almost double the rate of inflation on the average London wage. With no sign of the situation improving, many families are considering leaving London.

In an Ipsos Mori poll released last week, Londoners said that the single most important policy the mayoral candidates have discussed is finding a way to reduce the cost of private renting. Shelter’s Homes for London campaign is demanding the next Mayor stands up for London’s renters by brokering a better deal to protect families from the capital’s soaring rents.

“Hackney’s renters will be looking to the next mayor to fix London’s out-of-control rental market, and give them some stability and predictability with their housing costs,” said Robb.

Find out more about Shelter’s campaign, Homes for London.

/ 26 April, 2012
  • Benjamin

    “Londoners said that the single most important policy the mayoral candidates have discussed is finding a way to reduce the cost of private renting.”
    And the only way to do that is to hugely increase the supply of new homes…but that means taking on the anti-social, anti-urban, anti-green Nimby groups of already comfortably housed residents who have a vested interest in stunting housing supply.

  • Lee

    Tell me about it. After moving to Hackney in 1994 when we paid £50 per week (including bills) me and my flatmate cannot find a two bedroom flat for less than £250 per week. We’re going to have to move out of Hackney after nearly two decades. When we’ve both had pay freezes for the past 3 years & utility bills increasing only the wealthy will be able to afford to live in the borough and those in social housing.

  • Alex

    Ok so… 2 bedroom flat our mortgage is £850… ground rent and service charge is £110 and the estate agents take 11% = £121 totaling £1081… for E15 we can get £1100 pcm. We will be lucky to break even without any maintanance issues cropping up along the way. But we have no choice but to rent it as in this market we have had few offers to buy and 1 fall through just as we had exchanged on our new place (they were ment to exchange the same day)…

    Not having money is a horrid circle… The more you have the less it costs, the less you have the more it costs… and 1st time buyer mortgages are a massive con!!! You end up on a really high rate and locked in with huge exit fees yet they are advertised as the best option and i think that this and inflation and high maintance costs in london are to blame for the rental costs.

    Council and housing association properties are owned outright which means there is no high mortgage to pay.

  • Antitwat

    “Lucinda and her partner, both 30, are teachers renting a one bedroom flat near Hackney City Farm. After living in London for the past eight years, they can no longer afford to stay and are moving to Sheffield this summer.”

    Serves them right. What do they think they were doing with a career such as teaching? Hackney doesn’t want these poorly paid rabble in her borough, her one bedroom flat will be far better off in the hands of a ‘creative’ getting paid double her salary for blogging shit on a social nu-media site.

    Off to Stoke with you!!

  • cock&balls

    In the words of the infamous Wu Tang Clan

    C.R.E.A.M

    Cash Rules Everything Around Me

  • cafrin

    Teachers in hackney start on around £26000. It has the benefit on inner london pay for exactly this reason. Is she actually a teacher?

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