The Bottom Line: An investigation of rent arrears in social housing


Many people in rent arrears have seen their financial situation worsen significantly due to the economic crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. This report explores the daily challenges of people who are struggling to pay rent in time, presenting the most common triggers as well as the trade-offs, financial decisions and sacrifices they’re forced to make to make ends meet.

Our research shows that the primary drivers of arrears in social housing are low and fluctuating income, the benefits system and unexpected and bulky costs.

The report also provides a ‘deep dive’ into the daily stresses and coping strategies of tenants in arrears, finding that all of our daily participants suffer from anxiety caused by financial insecurity, with three-quarters of them reporting to be ‘very stressed’.

The Bottom Line sets out a number of recommendations to the Government, housing associations and mental health support services to both prevent people from falling behind rent payments, and to help people already in arrears.

Read the full report here.