Rental Health – a bold look at the UK’s dire housing problems (1/2)
A bold and serious housing project led BBC Radio 4 and Five Live schedules for a week in March. The purpose of Rental Health* was to investigate the state of the UK rental market.
To describe that state as ‘troubled’ would be inadequate. The producers used documentaries, phone-ins, landlords and tenants stories and visits at home and abroad in search of solutions. More: Rental Health 2/2.
Wherever they looked all market participants were under pressure. Big city, seaside town, rural area (and we can confirm prosperous SE boroughs) it was the same story:
- Tenants can’t find suitable accommodation at an affordable price (often any price) and live with huge insecurity
- Private landlords, often seen as ‘market villains’, but genuinely finding it tough and withdrawing property
- Social landlords with impossibly long waiting lists, including families at risk of homelessness
- Planning authorities facing frequently irreconcilable land use demands.
It’s bleak picture but there were chinks of light.
A tenant was mightily relieved to land the right property. Praise for good landlords was obviously well-deserved and not uncommon. Above all lots from participants and commentators about how to make the rental market work better.
As part of our 2023-24 housing campaign for clients we monitored some of the Rental Health output: Comment – Rental Health 2/2. In the coming months we will draw on the ideas raised.
* Rental Health – An in-depth look at rental housing in the UK. All available programmes here.