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Friday, 14 October 2011 (3019674)
'Unaffordable' rents in Sefton, report says
by Natasha Young

RENTS in Sefton are “unaffordable”, according to a new report.

Research by the housing and homelessness charity Shelter showed the borough is one of six local authority areas across the North West to have typical rents from private landlords that were over a third of the average take-home pay - the widely accepted measure of affordability.

Sefton featured as fifth on the list of six most unaffordable areas in the region, which was topped by Blackpool being named as the wort affected place.

Manchester, Wyre, Eden and Trafford were also on the list, while Copeland in Cumbria was named the North West's most affordable location.

The report highlighted that Sefton was one of 55% of local authorities across the whole of England to have unaffordable rents, and Shelter is calling on the government to take action to stabilise a rental market that is “out of control”. The charity's chief executive, Campbell Robb, said: “With huge differences in affordability across the North West, there are now worrying signs that families are likely to be displaced by our out-of-control rental market.

”Over recent years we have seen more and more people forced into renting, as high house prices and a lack of social housing have made it the only option for thousands of ordinary families. What we’re seeing now is that renting is no longer the easy, cheap alternative to home ownership.

“We have become depressingly familiar with first time buyers being priced out of the housing market, but the impact of unaffordable rents in the North West is more dramatic. With no cheaper alternative, ordinary people are forced to cut their spending on essentials like food and heating, or uproot and move away from jobs, schools and families.

”Government must urgently consider how private renting can become a secure, affordable option for families, and not a heavy financial burden that makes parents choose between buying food for their children and paying the rent.

“This should be the wake-up call needed to finally take action to address our renting crisis.”


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