2017 Pre-Budget Briefing: Housing

Date Posted: Wednesday 1st November 2017

Our series of briefings on the gender impact of policy in 12 distinct areas ahead of the Autumn Budget 2017.



You can read our full Pre-Budget Briefing on Housing here.


Key points:

• Housing can contribute to living standards, opportunities and wellbeing. But it can also cause low income after housing costs, disadvantage and poor health.

• Women’s housing situation differs from that of men. Women are the ‘household reference person’ in 56.6% of social tenancies but only 39% of private tenancies, 42% of those owning outright, and 31% of those buying with a mortgage.

• Nearly 63% of adults in households claiming housing benefit are women3 reflecting women’s lower incomes. • Since 2010 there has been 1) a sharp reduction in overall government spending, 2) reductions in housing benefit rates and eligibility, and 3) changes to the size and status of the social housing sector. All of these have reduced the ‘housing welfare safety net’, and will affect disadvantaged women.

• Within its reduced housing budget, government has shifted support from social housing to encouraging additional home building and access to home ownership for people on middle incomes.

• There is no evidence to suggest this will benefit women, and it is unlikely to compensate poorer women for the changes to the safety net.

• The treatment of housing assets, rental income and imputed rents (the flow of benefits home owners get from their homes) in the taxation system is generous, and has been an overlooked option for fiscal and housing policy goals.


You can read our full Pre-Budget Briefing on Housing here.