Shelter – Private renters are twice as likely to feel depressed

Shelter – Private renters are twice as likely to feel depressed

14:56 PM, 17th March 2021, About 3 years ago 20

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Research by Shelter indicates 14% of adults in England are more worried about becoming homeless due to the pandemic.

Eleanor Wilson, a Shelter helpline adviser recruited in response to the pandemic, said:“People are frightened, they’re scared they might do the wrong thing, they don’t know their rights, and they’re really worried they will lose their home. People can be quite distressed and don’t know where to turn. It can be emotional because you feel responsible for every caller.”

“Unsurprisingly”, Shelter’s latest poll carried out by YouGov, shows it is private renters who have fared the worst during the Coronavirus crisis with 27% of private renting adults now in fear of becoming homeless (2.2 million people).

Private renters are also almost twice as likely to feel depressed and anxious about their housing situation, compared with the general public (26%). In fact, nearly half (47%) of private renters say they are more depressed and anxious in light of the pandemic.

These concerns are not unfounded when a quarter of private renters (2 million people) have seen their income decrease in the last six months, and many are struggling to pay their rent. In just the last month:

  • 24% of private renters have had to borrow money to pay their rent

  • 18% have cut back on food or skipped meals to pay their rent

  • 12% have cut back on heating their home to pay their rent

This worrying snapshot of the people struggling to get by during the pandemic chimes with the charity’s frontline services data, which shows two-thirds (63%) of calls answered by its emergency helpline in the last year were from people already homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Polly Neate,  said: “Through our helpline we have seen just how scared people are about their homes and their futures. People’s lives are literally on the line. They are desperately struggling, and the threat of homelessness is very real.

“At Shelter we are working hard to keep people safe in their homes. Thanks to the generous support of the public and our partners we have been able to answer double the number of calls, but we need to keep this up if we are going to weather the coming storm. To make sure we can always be on the other end of the line, we’re asking the public to support our appeal.”

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Luke P

16:12 PM, 17th March 2021, About 3 years ago

wHaT wAs ThE sAmPlE sIzE?

Extrapolated nonsense, no doubt. I'm not sure why we give this 'airtime'.

Neil Patterson

16:30 PM, 17th March 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 17/03/2021 - 16:12
The survey results in this press release are taken from a YouGov survey of 3,603 people in England (551 private renters), online, weighted, 18+, 28th January – 1st February 2021.

The equivalent number of people is estimated by Shelter using the survey results in conjunction with population size data. In the case of all people (adults), the data used is the ONS single year population estimates, which shows there were 44.263m people aged 18 or over and living in England, in mid-2019 (latest available). In the case of private renters, and people paying housing costs, it is based on analysis of the English Housing Survey 2018/19 (raw data files), which is then applied to the 2019/20 published data to give an estimate of 8.188m privately renting adults in England and 29.260m adults paying housing costs.

Lee Bailey

19:00 PM, 17th March 2021, About 3 years ago


Anne Nixon

7:34 AM, 18th March 2021, About 3 years ago

I wonder what % of landlords have seen their income drop as a result of the pandemic?
Being "frightened, scared of doing the wrong thing and not knowing their rights" would definitely describe the way most small landlords feel and understandably so.
Many of us are housing tenants who are paying no rent and yet we are still liable for the mortgages of those properties and we still have our own homes to run and families to feed, with no recourse to furlough despite our drop in income. How many of us are struggling to get by?
Has anyone asked how many of us have felt depressed and anxious about our situation?
I would suggest the numbers may be similar to those quoted above and they may even be higher.

Denise G

9:19 AM, 18th March 2021, About 3 years ago

you took the words right out of my mouth!

Martin Roberts

9:24 AM, 18th March 2021, About 3 years ago

Maybe Shelter could use a bit of their huge income to provide interest free loans, or grants, to help with rent?

Nearly April 1st.

Dr Rosalind Beck

9:29 AM, 18th March 2021, About 3 years ago

Yes, the remit of the research appears to have been 'let's look at tenants' mental ill health.' No acknowledgment of the mental ill health of landlords with rogue/abusive/non-paying tenants - and of the effect of the Government's permissive legislation towards the latter. Many tenants are causing their landlords terrible stress and anxiety and are completely blase about it and not suffering any worries themselves as they live rent-free for lengthy periods. Where is that put into the equation? - i.e. 'what mental ill health do tenants cause others?' This could also include co-tenants and neighbours as their victims.
It is very poor research practice to only look at one side of things and not put it into any kind of wider context either, but this of course fits Shelter's agenda of demonising landlords and infantilising tenants.


9:32 AM, 18th March 2021, About 3 years ago

I don't even have any non paying renters and I'm terrified by all the legislation changes. I recently recieved a council compliance notice for one of my properties with a £5000 fine attached if I didn't do what they wanted. They had issued this without checking their facts about the property. I defended the notice using the current legislation and a month later they apologised by phone and withdrew the notice in writing. It was a month worth of extreme stress for me though as I hate bullies and knew that they were wrong and I was right but it was me that faced the fine, not them. The council officials would sleep well in their beds each night whilst I was left wondering why I bother being a landlord in this changing world. When I started 14 years ago, things were much simpler and better. I've only a small handful of properties and all of my current tenants are long term, good payers and nice people. I'm ready to buy another house now, but I'm finding it hard to convince myself that it's worth the gamble given the up-and-coming legislation changes.

Michael Bond

9:59 AM, 18th March 2021, About 3 years ago

This comes from a "housing charity" which has no houses for rent, no bedsits in HMOs, no hostels, and can offer no shelter of any kind to anybody, in spite of an income of about £70 million a year including about £17 million from the taxes we pay.


9:59 AM, 18th March 2021, About 3 years ago

Shelter would have us believe the only people in this country with Covid problems are renters. But the reality is renters have the most protection of everyone. They can live in someone else's property for free, probably for 2 years or more, they can't be evicted until the Government says they can, and the more the likes of Shelter bleat on, the more the Government and opposition listen and react because their votes count more.

I don't see Shelter talking about those who own or lease a property and are equally affected by Covid, but still have to pay their mortgages and other home ownership costs (which renters don't have!). If a homeowner defaults on a mortgage, their credit record will be damaged for years. And where's Shelter when it comes to the #NationalLeaseholdCampaign and the cladding scandal which is ruining leaseholders' lives. They can't live for free at others' expense and then simply pack their bags and leave!

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