Survey shows young are having to pay ‘unaffordable’ rent

Pam Mills
Bjorn Simpole Chair of the Tunbridge Wells Labour Party

Ordnance Survey data, analysed and published by the BBC last week, shows on average adults aged 22 to 29 would spend 39 per cent of their income on maintaining a one-bedroom property.

And in Tonbridge young people of the same age group would be spending 42 per cent of their salary while in Sevenoaks the figures stands at 46 per cent.

Findings also showed the mean rent for one month in Tunbridge Wells to be £722, in Tonbridge it is £788 while in Sevenoaks it is higher still at £857.

The South East average is £700.

Many housing organisations regard spending more than a third of income on rent as being ‘unaffordable’.

Dan Wilson, Director of pressure group Generation Rent said: “This research is more evidence of how difficult it is to lead the life you expect. If you work hard, you should expect to have some choice about living arrangements.”

Local political groups have raised concern that the figures show young have been hit hardest as house prices have risen 173 per cent since 1997.

Bjorn Simpole, Chair of Tunbridge Wells Labour Party Branch, said: “The younger generation have experienced the sharp end of an austerity programme which has suppressed wage growth and opportunities whilst inflating the price of housing locally beyond the reach of all but high earners.

“Never mind owning your own home, in Tunbridge Wells increasingly renting your own home is impossible for many.”

A UK-wide map based on the lattest data shows that South East renters are paying the most, especially in London where a salary of £51,200 is needed to afford a one-bedroom home.

And house sharing, a common modern choice for the under-30s, does not always resolve the problem with 12 per cent of postcode areas in Britain remaining ‘unaffordable’ for two people in their 20s sharing a two-bedroom home.

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