Age UK London tackling the challenges and vulnerabilities of older private sector tenants

Age UK London is beginning work to raise awareness of the needs of older private sector tenants in London to find solutions to problems they face.

There are 146,000 households renting privately in London where at least one person is aged over 50, and projections suggest this number will rise. Between 2009 and 2014, the number of flat sharers aged 45 to 54 soared by 300%.

Using funding it has received from the Nationwide Foundation, Age UK London’s 18-month project will focus specifically on the challenges and vulnerabilities faced by older renters in the capital. Research will inform clear policy ‘asks’, targeting the Mayor of London, London Assembly, London borough councils and organisations representing the private rented sector to improve the living conditions of older, vulnerable private renters across the capital.

The project also aims to devise models of direct support for older Londoners who are suffering poor living conditions or are at risk of having to move out of London. It will also produce practical resources; both for older renters to enable them to self-advocate and for organisations wishing to support them.

Samantha Mauger, Chief Executive of Age UK London, says: “Older private sector tenants can all too easily be forgotten. With increased property prices, fewer people can get on the housing ladder – but spiralling rental costs are a real danger in later life.

“We want to better understand the issues facing older renters and are delighted to have the support of the Nationwide Foundation to do so. We look forward to publishing our recommendations and hope that decision makers, like the new Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, listen and provide greater security and help for those that need it most.”

Gary Hartin, Programme Manager at the Nationwide Foundation, says: “The issues facing vulnerable, older private tenants must be urgently and thoroughly addressed, so that the changes needed to improve their living conditions can be implemented. Our grant of over £90,000 to Age UK London will deliver much-needed insight, as well as meaningful solutions to support this group of tenants, for whom decent affordable housing is increasingly out of reach.”