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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Tenants in rented accommodation increasingly need emergency food support


Cost-of-living crisis shows no signs of abating

Research by an alternative tenancy deposit organisation has found that an estimated one in 10 renters (11%) in the UK are having to resort to food banks to get by.

The data, commissioned by Zero Deposit, shows some 59% of renters are struggling to make ends meet due to the continued high cost of living with just 9% describing themselves as financially comfortable. 

Some 46% described their current position within the rental market as having to make ends meet, with next to no disposable income once their outgoings were accounted for. 

A further 12% said they were either financially unstable - having to borrow to cover the cost of their outgoings - or in serious financial trouble and unable to cover these costs. 

When asked what the key reason was with respect to their financial insecurity, the continued high cost of living ranked top, with the cost of their core outgoings such as rent and bills also ranking as one of the biggest factors, followed by overdraft and other borrowing fees. 

And 34% stated that higher interest rates had contributed to an increase in their monthly outgoings, with 58% having also seen the cost of their monthly rent increase in the last year. 

As a result, 18% have had to dip into their overdraft in order to cover the cost of their outgoings over the last year, with a further 11% also having to extend their overdraft in order to get by. 

 34% have had to rely on friends or family to borrow money, while almost a quarter (23%) said that they have had to take out a credit card to help cover the cost of living, with 15% also having to resort to additional loans. 

One in 10 (11%) also stated that they have had to rely on additional support such as food banks.  

Sam Reynolds, CEO of Zero Deposit said: “While much has been made about the obstacle of accumulating a mortgage deposit and the increased cost of monthly mortgage repayments following a spike in interest rates, the nation’s renters are facing a far more desperate situation in the current climate. 

Rent as a proportion of total salary are as high as 53% in the capital and 43% across the UK as a whole.

This is clearly unsustainable. The government risks sleepwalking through these issues with no meaningful progress on home building and incentives for landlords to engage in the sector with optimism.

Like homebuyers, they too have a sizable upfront cost to overcome in the form of a rental deposit when looking to secure a roof over their head within the rental sector. For those who can overcome this initial obstacle, the continued cost of living and the escalating cost of rent itself is putting serious pressure on their financial stability. 

So much so that many are having to rely on friends and family, overdrafts and worryingly additional loans and credit cards to get by and, in the worst instances, the help of organised aid such as food banks. An endless loop of financial stress that shows no signs of abating.”



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