Housing problems worsen for members during the pandemic

UNISON survey set to reveal the scale of the problems caused for workers struggling to pay rent or mortgages

The UK’s housing crisis has been made worse by the pandemic. UNISON is launching a survey to learn more about how members and their families are having to defer rent or mortgages, and struggling to manage household bills.

One member, a nursery worker from East Anglia, told UNISON of the impact that COVID-19 has had on her household income, describing how she and her husband are struggling to manage and to pay bills.

“I am in more debt. My husband had to close down his business and was due to start a new job in April, which he hasn’t been able to.

“He has applied for numerous jobs to tide him over, but hasn’t heard back from any.”

The member continued: “We cannot claim universal credit as we claim tax credits and would be worse off claiming UC, as we have a mortgage and they don’t pay towards that.”

Another member, who works in healthcare, said that Covid-19 has affected her family’s standard of living too.

She explained that her family rent privately but are overcrowded, with four people in the household. She had always wanted to own her own home, but because of the pandemic, the family is struggling to even pay the rent.

She added that renters should be given longer to pay back any rent arrears caused by the crisis.

To learn more about what housing problems our members are facing, UNISON is conducting a survey.