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Housing benefit bill set to double for taxpayers as more OAPs rent through retirement

2 min read

The cost of the housing benefit bill is set to rise steeply as more pensioners are forced to rent in their retirement, a think tank has revealed.

Taxpayers face a multi-billion pound bill as they try to keep a roof over the heads of more middle-aged and older renters priced out of the property market, according to the Resolution Foundation.

Soaring house prices have left many middle-aged renters without a chance of getting on the property ladder.

The proportion of people in the 35-44 age group privately renting has doubled from 13 per cent in 2007 to 26 per cent last year, the Office for National Statistics said. 

The percentage of 45 to 54-year-olds renting rose from 8 per cent to 14 per cent over the same period.

Failure to tackle the housing crisis will push the housing benefit bill up to £16bn by 2060, according to the Resolution Foundation.

Torsten Bell, director of the think tank, said: “Britain has big housing challenges now, from falling home ownership among the young to a lack of new social housing stock. 

“Today that means more families raising children in the insecurity of the private rented sector but it also risks storing up problems for tomorrow.”

Dan Wilson Craw of Generation Rent, the campaign group, said: “The common perception is that retirees either own their home outright or have a council tenancy, so the government will be in for a nasty shock."

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