Living in Fear: the cost-of-living crisis and poor-quality housing 

Living in Fear is a follow up to 2020 research Lockdown, Rundown, Breakdown, which looked at the impact of the pandemic on people living in poor quality housing.  

The University of Huddersfield reached out to residents they last spoke to at the peak of the pandemic, who live in private rented accommodation, or are owner occupiers.  

They find many participants are now ‘living in fear’ after being hit hard by the cost-of-living crisis. Soaring energy prices have had a big impact, and many people continue to live in homes with hazards.  

While owner occupiers feel they have some hope of resolving the problems, many private renters feel trapped in unsuitable homes. Some spoke about fear of reprisals, such as rent hikes or evictions, if they report repairs.  

We’re backing a three-point plan, set out in the report, to resolve the crisis. 

  • The speedy progress of the Renters’ Reform Bill to end no-fault evictions 
  • Local Housing Allowance levels must continue to keep pace with spiralling rents 
  • New support with energy bills, including a ‘social tariff’ to help people meet soaring costs of gas and electricity. 

Over the next 12 months we’ll present a case to Government and opposition parties about the importance of investment in housing and communities. Living in Fear, alongside other research, such as our state of the region report, the Northern Housing Monitor, will be part of our evidence base to call for crucial changes.