UK has highest housing costs in Europe

A new report has revealed that the UK has highest housing costs for the poor than any other country in Europe.

The report, carried out by the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (Feantsa), found that the cost of a home for the lowest earners has risen faster in Britain than anywhere in western Europe. This, the organisation argues, is one of the prime reasons behind an increase in homelessness in the UK in recent years.

It was revealed that housing costs for British people who earn about £16,000 a year increased by 45 per cent between 2010 and 2016. This compared to a Western European average increase of 10 per cent in the same period.

Only in Bulgaria, in Eastern Europe, where property prices shot up after interest rate cuts, have housing costs risen more steeply for the lowest earners.

“Housing exclusion and homelessness have taken on dramatic proportions in the UK,” said Freek Spinnewijn, the director of Feantsa. “For almost all indicators, the UK scores badly in a European perspective and the situation has often worsened over the last few years,” he continued. “Especially worrying is the massive increase in rough sleepers and homeless people in temporary accommodation. The situation of young people in the housing market is also becoming hopeless.”

According to the Feantsa findings, just over four in 10 poorer households in the UK are overburdened by housing costs.

Article published 21st March 2018