Money Wellness
Flats in south east London
category iconHousing
calendar icon01 Aug 2023

Unaffordable affordable housing scandal - earnings of over £30k not enough to qualify

People earning over £30,000 are being told they’re too poor for ‘affordable’ rent schemes in London, an investigation by the BBC has revealed.

The schemes were set up to allow renters on lower incomes secure homes in the capital at least 20% below market value.

Private companies, councils and housing associations can all offer affordable rent, as long as they are registered to provide social housing.

Landlords asking for minimum incomes of up to £60k

Many landlords don’t advertise how much applicants need to be earning. Out of 40 listings, the BBC says only 12 included a minimum income. Of those 11 had a minimum income of between £30,000 and £60,000, with just one accepting applicants earning at least £27,750.

Office for National Statistics figures show the average salary is London is around £34,000 a year.

Shelter told the BBC that people on lower incomes were “effectively being screened out” for fear they would miss their monthly rent payments.

The BBC asked the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities whether government cuts to affordable housing have forced providers to become more focused on balancing the books. The department didn’t respond.

Avatar of Rebecca Routledge

Rebecca Routledge

A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.

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