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The reality of renting as you get older - skipped meals, heating off and borrowing cash from your children; More than a million over 50s are still renting their homes from private landlords - this is what life's like for them.

Byline: Vicky Shaw

Thousands of older private sector renters in England have borrowed money from friends and family, including their own children, in the past year to cover their rent, a report suggests.

The research among over-50s renters found cutting down on food or heating or using credit were other steps people had taken to pay their rent.

It was carried out by the National Housing Federation, which represents housing associations.

The National Housing Federation said its findings suggest that approaching half a million private renters in the baby boomer generation may have had to take drastic decisions in the past year to cover their rent.

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The research among more than 3,900 over-50s found that to pay their rent in the past 12 months:

More than one in 10 (12%) private renters equating around 130,000 people across England have borrowed money from family and friends;

3% or around 40,000 people if the figures are projected across England have borrowed money from their own children;

At least 194,000 (17%) private renters have had to cut down on food and heating;

At least 113,000 (10%) have had to take out a loan, use their overdraft, or use a credit card.

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The Federation said baby boomers are often considered to have been exempt from the effects of the housing crisis as many own their homes outright.

But it said 1.13 million people aged 50 and over are renting from private landlords - and many are struggling with rising rental costs.

It said that, in addition, baby boomers living in all tenures often find themselves in unsuitable housing.

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Of those who need vital changes made to their homes, such as adding handrails, stair lifts, ramps or wider doorways for wheelchairs, around two-fifths (42%) have fallen over in their own home and a similar proportion at 43% leave home less often then they want to.

Nearly three-fifths (59%) have needed these changes for over a year, the survey found.

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, which wants to see longer tenancies in the private rented sector, said: "We often hear that young people bear the brunt of the housing crisis but today's report reveals a shocking number of hidden baby boomers who are struggling just as much if not more.

"There is a huge amount of inequality amongst this age group and unfortunately the wealthier majority have hidden the reality of hundreds of thousands of people who have never been able to afford a house."


Credit: GETTY

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Title Annotation:Money
Publication:Daily Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 30, 2018
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