Private renters in England are spending £11bn more a year on rent than they can afford, new research has shown.
Using the measure that rent should not cost more than 30% of household income, Shelter found that households are overspending £425 a month on rent on average.
According to the research, private rents account for 41% of incomes on average, forcing 2.2 million households to spend beyond their means.
A survey for the charity found a quarter (24%) of parents have borrowed from friends or family over the last year to pay their rent, while 23% have relied on a credit card.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: ‘Hugely unaffordable rents are dominating daily life for millions of people, forcing them to rely on costly credit cards or borrow what they can from family and friends. Our services see the real cost of private renting, which is leaving parents struggling to put food on the table or turn the heating on, while also keeping a roof over their children’s heads.
'When someone is forced to spend hundreds more than they can afford on rent each month, it’s clear that private renting isn’t working for everyone.’
Shelter has joined forces with other charities to call on the next government to provide at least 90,000 social homes a year over the next parliament.