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Private Rental Sector Information

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There is a lot of talk of renters and frustrated FTBs etc. but does anyone know a reliable source of statistics on who and how many this group is. How many private renters are there including how many couples, families with children, singles, how many in what sort of accommodation? How many in HMOs, how many in houses, how many in one bedroom flats. What proportion of income is being required to rent in the private sector? (and would they use the average or miraculously discover the median?)

It seems to me that private renters are effectively disappeared by lack of information. This also generates isolation (to some extend for a few addressed by sites like this, but more generally ignored).

The ODPM site is worse than useless. They started doing an Experimental Quarterly Private Rental Index but haven't updated it since Q2 2005 and didn't provide a link to it (unlike all the other stats that they provide). The University of York used to keep a register, but doesn't update it anymore. Shelter concentrates on the priority deprived (eg. children or officially homeless ) which is understandable, but these groups tend to get public sector housing anyway. In fact the councils are pushing people away from social housing and towards the private rental sector and the whole focus appears to be ways to find deposits so that low income earners can get into the private rental sector which has somehow become to be seen as the great panacea of all ills. There have been moves to improve private rental conditions, but that does not extend to the ongoing cost of renting which would be most significant to the working poor without social housing priority.

This means that shout as loud as you can, you have no voice since private renters who are not on the social housing registers are not recognised as a demographic interest group that need to be pandered to politically. We keep talking about the plight of would be FTBs, but what is the real volume effect?

The information must be out there somewhere, but where.

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