Housing and Coronavirus: Responding at Scale - RSA

Housing and Coronavirus: Responding at Scale

Policy briefing

  • Economy
  • Poverty and inequality

This short briefing is part of the RSA’s series on how to respond to the coronavirus now and build bridges to a better future as part of the recovery.

Key points:

  • Housing is critical to both tackling coronavirus and recovering from it; we need to recognise the issues facing renters in particular, and the inter-section between housing and economic security.
  • One in six (16%) of people we asked said they seriously feared becoming homeless due to missing a rent or mortgage payment as a result of coronavirus. This was more acute amongst renters, (26%), young people under 35 (22%), and those in insecure work (33%).
  • Public support for greater housing cost protection is high, with 83% in favour of a government guarantee of rent and mortgage payments.
  • In the short-term, Universal Credit should be reformed to help people more quickly and better reflect the reality of local rent levels. Long-term, we must radically reform the rental sector to provide much more security than today.

The coronavirus outbreak has quickly revealed the fragility of our rental market, as it has many other parts of how we live and work.

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Picture of Hannah Webster
Head of Research