Fewer than one in 10 homes is affordable to small families on housing benefit across swathes of the country, a study warns today.
Analysis by homelessness charity Crisis says a third of Britain is clobbered by having less than 10% of housing affordable for households relying on the welfare benefit.
Urgent investment in housing benefit is needed so it covers rental costs and does not push families towards homelessness, the charity says.
Crisis chief executive Jon Sparkes said: “Ending homelessness is truly possible but we have to tackle the root causes, not just treat the symptoms.
“We need to see commitment from the next Government to sign up to our manifesto to end all forms of homelessness, which includes urgent investment in housing benefit.
“The next Government cannot ignore the widespread public desire to change the system – it must do all it can to make sure everyone has a home they can afford.”
Housing benefit was designed to help people on low incomes who are unable to meet the cost of private rent.
Rates were previously set so people could afford the cheapest 30% of properties in their area – but a freeze on the benefit since 2016 has made properties less affordable, Crisis said.