The latest published data from the English Housing Survey has revealed that the number of households renting has more than doubled in the last two decades in England and Wales, as home ownership rates fell.
In England and Wales, 5m households are private renting – equivalent to one in five – up from 3.9m in 2011 and 1.9m in 2001. More than half of households in London rent.
Amid concerns over the health risks caused by cold and increasing energy bills, the survey also showed 367,000 households had no central heating – which the Office for National Statistics has estimated affects close to 700,000 people, including one in 10 of whom are elderly.
After the Isles of Scilly, where one in six households have no central heating, Westminster was the next worst with one in 25 lacking a system.
A government spokesperson described the lack of central heating in homes as “completely unacceptable” but ministers stand accused of failing those living in the worst conditions.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) analysis based on the 2021 census shows that 699,500 people live in a home without central heating in England.
London has the largest number of households without central heating (76,190), followed by the rest of the south-east (49,875), the south-west (42,550) and the north-west (47,710). There are a further 15,496 homes in Wales without central heating.
Jon Tabbush, senior researcher at Centre for London, said: “The census results confirm that London is at the heart of the nation’s housing crisis.
“Due to its higher housing costs, the capital having a lower proportion of homeowners than any other region in England will come as no surprise.”
“And facing a long winter, London also has the largest number of households nationwide without central heating,” he continued. “With greater dependence on the private rented sector than anywhere else in England & Wales, which has risen from housing 26% to 30% of London’s households since 2011, government action is needed to prevent housing costs pushing thousands into poverty.”
“Londoners need more stability for renters. It is vital that plans for the Renters’ Reform Bill are not dropped,” Tabbush added.
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