The links between housing and poverty: summary

Document type
Tunstall, Rebecca; Bevan, Mark; Bradshaw, Jonathan
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Date of publication
1 February 2013
Housing and Homelessness, Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion
Social welfare
Material type

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Poverty and low incomes prevent people from accessing potential housing options, and make others hard to sustain. This evidence review explores how housing can mitigate or exacerbate the impact of poverty on people’s lives.

Evidence that poverty affects housing circumstances is generally stronger than evidence that housing circumstances affect poverty. Low incomes prevent access to many potential housing options, or make them hard to sustain. However, the housing system, with social housing, housing benefit and support for homeless people, acts as a buffer against the effects of poverty, so that although people living in poverty have a higher risk of bad housing conditions, they generally avoid them.