Scarborough’s private renters pay more than £100 extra compared to social tenants, new figures show

Private renters in Scarborough fork out more than £100 extra per month on average to keep a roof over their heads compared to those in social homes, figures show.

Monday, 8th March 2021, 12:55 pm
New data shows the average private rent in the area was £536 a month. Photo: PA Images

Housing campaigners have slammed the Government for not doing more to support renters in its Budget after the Chancellor announced additional help for home buyers.

They say building more social homes is the best solution to thousands of tenants across the country having their bank balances “bled dry by expensive private rents”.

The average weekly rent for a social home in Scarborough was £83 in March last year, Regulator of Social Housing figures show – about £358 per month. But Office for National Statistics data shows the average private rent in the area was £536 – around £178 more expensive.

Social housing is provided by housing associations or councils, and rent is pegged to local incomes. The RSH figures are net rent, which excludes service charges.

The average social renter across Yorkshire and the Humber was set back £76 per week – around £328 a month – while a private renter faced a bill of £614.

In the recent Budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an extension of the stamp duty holiday, suspending the tax on all property sales up to £500,000 until June. The threshold will then drop to £250,000 before returning to the pre-pandemic level of £125,000 in October.

However, Mr Sunak has faced criticism for what some saw as a lack of support for struggling renters.

Dan Wilson Craw, deputy director of the campaign group Generation Rent, said the number of private renters who depend on benefits has surged during the pandemic.

“But the rates on offer are inadequate compared with average rents and more than half of private renters getting Universal Credit don’t get enough to cover their rent,” he added.

“This is causing hardship, rent arrears and the threat of eviction and homelessness.”

A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokeswoman said the Government is “providing more support than ever before to help people onto the housing ladder”.