Tag Archives: Renters

FinTech To Help Renters Get On The Housing Ladder

New competition to use rental payment data to improve credit scores and mortgage applications for the 11 million renters in Britain

HM Treasury

HM Treasury

HM Treasury is offering £2 million to budding entrepreneurs who can develop an application that will enable Britain’s 11 million renters to record and share their rent payment data, helping to improve their credit scores and their chances of getting a mortgage.

The Challenge, announced in the Autumn Budget, will be launched by the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Barclay at the Fintech Connect Live conference this morning.

Winning bids to the Rent Recognition Challenge will be selected by a panel of leading figures from the Fintech sector. The competition will provide an initial round of grant funding to six promising proposals to help to turn the ideas into a workable product. The expert judges will then whittle the six down to just a handful of teams who will receive further funding and support to bring their ideas to market.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Barclay, said:

People’s monthly rent is often their biggest expense, so it makes sense for it to be recognised when applying for a mortgage. Without a good credit score, getting a mortgage can be a real struggle.

Most lenders and Credit Reference Agencies are unable to take rental data into account, because they don’t have access to it. The Rent Recognition Challenge will challenge firms to develop an innovative solution to this problem and help to restore the dream of home ownership for a new generation.

The Challenge will open to applications early in the New Year, and development will conclude in October 2018.

Shelter Calls For Half A Million New Fair Rent Homes, As 44% Of Low Earners Cut Back On Basics Like Food And Clothing To Over Rent

Shelter UK

Shelter UK

Today in a groundbreaking new report, Shelter is calling on the government to dramatically increase its building of genuinely affordable housing with a new generation of Fair Rent Homes for working families who are desperately struggling to keep up.

On top of the welcome pledge of 25,000 new council homes announced at Conservative Party Conference, Shelter says more are urgently needed and the invitation to rent an affordable home must also be extended up the income scale to address the breadth and depth of the problem.

Releasing new research with YouGov showing 44% of low paid renters cut back on basics like food, clothing and toys for their children to pay for their home, Shelter says young working people and families who are just managing to keep their heads above water also need the government’s help.

Shelter is calling for a massive boost to affordable housing, with half a million Fair Rent Homes being built for low earners, in addition to half a million council homes for those in the greatest need – one million homes for people who are struggling over the next ten years.

With rents tied to local incomes, Fair Rent Homes would help low to middle earners, typically working in jobs such as care home staff, hairdressers, security guards, factory workers and sales representatives. This group cannot get a council house but cannot keep up with market rent either, due their low incomes. They are essentially trapped.

Worryingly, the Shelter research also shows that one in ten workers on low wages also fall behind on other payments such as gas and electricity bills or council tax so they can pay their rent.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “No parent should have to choose between buying school clothes or paying their rent. But far too many families are feeling shame and anxiety as they are forced to make impossible decisions just to keep a roof over their children’s heads.

“This report reveals the true scale of housebuilding this country needs. Despite slogging every hour they can, huge numbers of people are struggling to keep up with colossal private rents. And with next to no chance of getting a council home, they are trapped and are forced into dangerous debt.

“It’s good to see the government investing in council housing for those hit hardest by the housing crisis but there are millions more low paid renters only just scraping by, who also need help. Only investing in a new generation of Fair Rent Homes will give these families the chance of a stronger and more secure future.”

Case study: Nadine from Wokingham works two jobs to pay her rent of £950 per month, in sales and as a health consultant. But every month she still struggles to pay for the roof over her daughter’s head.

She says: “Until my daughter turned 16 recently, I cut back on an awful lot of clothes for her. I only managed to buy two new shirts and one from a charity shop to keep her in a school uniform – she wore the rest for the entire time she was there. I used to glue her school shoes back together myself, but managed to replace them once when the hole in the sole was so big that her socks got soaked when it rained.

“We haven’t had a holiday for three years – not even a weekend away. Her school trips were her holidays and they were only paid for by tight budgeting, and my daughter’s own savings. I don’t want her life chances spoilt by a housing crisis which takes all my money. I would rather go without things like food and clothes for myself than have her miss out on things other children do.”


Shelter Comment On ONS Homelessness Stats

Shelter UK

Shelter UK

Anne Baxendale, director of communications, policy and campaigns at Shelter, said:

“The Grenfell Tower tragedy has left people without a home and living in a dire situation, it has also thrust the issue of homelessness into the spotlight. While Shelter is calling for those affected to be placed in good quality temporary accommodation nearby, and hope officials make good on their promise to do so, we know many local authorities simply don’t have enough affordable accommodation for those on low incomes. It’s a similar story across all London boroughs and the country more widely, so it’s no surprise that today’s homelessness stats reveal the problem is getting worse nationally, with more households becoming homeless every year.

“Many of the families that come to Shelter for advice say the benefit cap is pushing them into homelessness. Many desperately want to work but can’t make up the required hours of work a week due to childcare issues or insecure work like zero hours contracts. That’s why we’re pleased today’s high court judgment, which Shelter provided evidence for, has found that the cap discriminates against lone parents with children under 2. In the words of the judge, ‘real misery is being caused to no good purpose.’ We are calling on the government to scrap the cap immediately, before it pushes even more people into homelessness.”

Shelter Response To UK Government Announcements On Housebuilding

Shelter UK

Shelter UK

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: “With millions of families priced out and feeling left behind by our housing shortage, it’s good to see the new government recognising that this is one of the nation’s most pressing issues.

“The increased funding going to smaller builders announced today is welcome, and correctly acknowledges that a few major developers cannot build all the homes we need by themselves.

“We hope this is a precursor to an ambitious home building programme in the autumn spending review and we will be looking closely for reassurance that the homes built will be genuinely affordable for people on low and middle incomes.”


Shelter Response To UK House Price Index – UK House Prices Rise By 8.2% Annually

Shelter UK

Shelter UK

Shelter’s response to ONS statistics showing house prices in April have risen annually by 9.1% in England, and 8.2% in the UK. The figures also show that house prices for first time buyers in the UK have risen by 8.2%. The average house price in the UK was £209,054, and for first time buyers it was £176,773.

Shelter’s chief executive, Campbell Robb, said:

“Yet another rise in house prices is another blow to the millions of people already locked out of home ownership.

“An entire generation has been pushed to the side-lines by runaway house prices, either trapped in expensive and unstable private renting, or left living at home with their parents well into their 30’s. What’s worse, current government schemes like Starter Homes costing up to £250,000, or nearly half a million pounds in London, will only help the well off.

“The current government doesn’t have to repeat the failure of its predecessors – it has the power to turn the tide our chronic housing shortage. But this will only happen if actually build homes that people on ordinary incomes can afford to buy or rent for the long term.”