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Fifth of private renters ‘have gone without meals or suitable clothes’

Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent
·1-min read

One in five private sector renters have gone without meals or suitable clothes since UK lockdowns started, a survey has found.

StepChange Debt Charity also said that 20% of private sector renters across Britain said they have had to do this since March 2020.

Three in 10 (30%) private renters said money worries had contributed to anxiety, depression or other mental health problems since last March.

And one in eight (12%) said money worries had damaged their ability to find work or complete education since March 2020, a survey of more than 3,400 people in January 2021 found.

About 150,000 private renters across Britain could be at risk of eviction as coronavirus restrictions are eased, the charity estimates.

Temporary suspensions on rental evictions due to the coronavirus pandemic are currently in place.

StepChange has launched a campaign calling for a package of emergency financial support to help renters keep their homes while their finances recover.

The charity’s chief executive, Phil Andrew, said: “StepChange is launching its Covid Debt Rescue campaign, which is calling for dedicated financial support to help ensure landlords keep renters in their homes.

“Without it, people will lose their homes just as they are trying to get back on their feet, compounding their financial and social problems and acting as a drag on the country’s economic recovery.”