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Homeless - An unidentified person begging on a street in Glasgow, Scotland

Housing unaffordable for women

Housing is unaffordable for women in every English region, according to a report by the Women’s Budget Group and Women’s Housing Forum ‘A home of her own, housing and women’.

Rising house prices and the gender pay gap means that there is no English region where a single woman on median earnings can afford to rent or buy an averagely priced house according to the report.

This is in contrast to findings in the report that the average home to rent is affordable for men on median earnings in every region except London and the South East, and across England as a whole average rents take 43% of women’s median earnings and 28% of men’s.

The report has found that when buying a house women need over 12 times their annual salaries to be able to buy a home in England, while men need just over eight times. The worst regions in housing buying affordability for women (and men) are London and the South East, where women need nearly 18 times and 16 times their annual earnings to afford a house (respectively). The regions with the widest gap in affordability between women and men are the South East and the East. This is where the gender pay gap (as measured by gross annual earnings of full-time and part-time workers) is the largest.

The report also looks at the median earnings by region and how far median earnings for men and women in each region fall short of income required for a mortgage. When it comes to buying a house with a typical mortgage, women’s incomes fall over 50% short in most regions, excluding in the North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber. Men’s incomes only fall over 50% short in London and the South East.

Denise Fowler, chief executive of Women’s Pioneer Housing and Co-Chair of the Women’s Housing Forum said: “This report highlights the link between providing women with safe, secure, good quality, affordable accommodation and the wider fight for women’s equality. Without a safe secure affordable home of her own no woman can achieve her potential.  I hope it will be a call to action across the UK.”

Read: Women’s Budget Group - Housing is unaffordable for women in every English region