A survey of tenants with Clarion Housing Group (CHG) has shown that the cost-of-living crisis continues to take its toll on people living in social housing.
The organisation commissioned Eventure Research to conduct the poll of tenants; an annual survey it has undertaken since 2017.
Initial findings of The Index – as the survey is called – found that more than half of households (56%) say they are worse off financially compared with 12 months. Furthermore, it finds that 21% of Clarion residents run out of money before the end of the week or month; and 41% have had to borrow money or use a credit card to pay for essentials, up from 35% in 2022.
Clare Miller, CHG’s chief executive, said: “Social landlords like Clarion provide a home to some of the most vulnerable people in our society, and even though our residents benefit from paying heavily subsidised rents, many are still in a precarious financial position as we can see from the findings of our annual survey.”
An increasing proportion of residents are having to make difficult decisions to manage their day-to-day finances, according to the research, with 77% cutting back on household spending compared to 63% in 2022, and 74% reducing heating and electricity usage.
However, despite these interventions, a fifth (20%) of residents have gone without food in the last year as they couldn’t afford it – a figure which rises to almost a third (29%) of residents aged 18-34 representing a 5% increase from last year (24%).
Furthermore, it found that 14% of residents report using a food bank in the last year, rising to 25% of households with three or more children. Residents receiving Universal Credit are also more likely to be experiencing food poverty, with 31% reporting going without food and 26% using a food bank.
Unsurprisingly, the research also showed that the cost of living crisis is affecting more than just household finances, with half of respondents (51%) saying that it has had a negative impact on their mental health.
Miller added: “With the cost of living crisis showing no sign of abating, we’re continuing to provide funding to partners in Clarion communities nationwide in support of warm spaces and food pantries through our charitable foundation, Clarion Futures.
“And our dedicated Clarion Futures teams continue to make a huge difference to our residents, providing practical advice and support to help them through these turbulent times.”
Image credit: fizkes/Shutterstock
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