High rents hammer workers

High rents mean jobseekers who relocate face a financial penalty, says a new report
According to research from PricedOut, the group who campaign for lower cost housing, private tenants who work in England’s top cities pay £251 more in their monthly rent than the national average, but they only earn an extra £167 per month after tax.

In the nine towns and cities where it is easiest to get a job pay is higher, but this is offset by the cost of renting, – tenants shell out 36% of their earnings on rent compared with 24% of local median income in the towns where it is hardest to find a job.

To give some examples: in Hull, where there are 32 jobseekers per vacancy, the average rent of £325 is 21% of the average income of £1,640, but in Oxford the average rent of £825 is 41% of the median monthly income of £2,020.

Although Londonders earn £3,804 more per year than the average person nationally, the typical Londoner is actually £4,027 worse off after they’ve paid for somewhere to live.

PricedOut spokesman Dan Wilson Craw said: “The gulf between disposable incomes in different parts of the country creates a dilemma for people who could stay where they are and keep looking for work, or ‘get on their bike’ and potentially earn less after rent.

“While paid work is better than unemployment, higher rents in booming cities can act as a considerable disincentive, and one that the government should act on.

“We desperately need more houses built in places where jobs are being created to ease the pressure on rents.” He said young people, who were most likely to move to seek work and be in rented property, were disproportionately affected.

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