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Rent is unaffordable for a range of key workers new research finds

Renting in Greater Manchester is unaffordable for a range of key workers, with the median rent in the metropolitan area worth 44% of a teaching assistant’s salary, new research from Generation Rent reveals today.

Analysis of 12 key and essential worker roles show that private renting is unaffordable for roles across education, healthcare, social care, construction, retail, commerce, and hospitality.

Generation Rent is calling on candidates for the Greater Manchester Mayoralty to demand powers to control rents and commit to building many more social homes in the capital if they win in May.

A home is considered affordable if it costs 30% or less of your income.

Analysis of 12 key and essential worker roles found that the average proportion of incomes required to cover the rent on the median one-bedroom home is:

  • 44% of teaching assistants’ incomes
  • 44% of kitchen assistants’ incomes
  • 41% of cleaners’ incomes
  • 41% of first year nurses’ incomes
  • 40% of pharmacy assistants’ incomes
  • 40% of receptionists’ incomes
  • 39% of sales assistants’ incomes
  • 39% of hairdressers’ incomes
  • 38% of care workers’ incomes
  • 34% delivery drivers’ incomes
  • 36% of roofers’ incomes
  • 30% of first year teachers’ incomes

Moreover, in not one of the 12 roles analysed was it affordable, on average, to live in Manchester city centre, Salford, or Trafford.

Teaching assistants experienced the most affordability issues of the roles analysed in this research, with rents costing members of the profession on average over half (51%) of their incomes in Manchester city centre, 49% in Salford and 46% in Trafford.

Manchester city centre was the least affordable area in Greater Manchester for renters to live in. The area on average cost teaching assistants, kitchen assistants, first year nurses, cleaners, pharmacy assistants, receptionists, sales assistants, hairdressers, care workers and roofers 40% or more of their incomes to cover rents.

Chief Executive of Generation Rent, Ben Twomey, said: “Just a few years ago we were clapping on our doorsteps every week for key workers. Now they risk being driven out of their local areas because of soaring rents. For communities to survive, local people must be able to stay healthy, receive an education, find a safe home to live in and purchase basic goods. But, if those working in vital jobs cannot afford to live in the area, everyone loses out.

“The current cost of renting crisis is devastating Greater Manchester’s communities. It is vital that England’s Metro Mayors have the power to slam the brakes on local rents and give our key workers the breathing space they need to live and work in their community. It is also vital that the mayor and the government build more affordable homes in the capital and increase how much social housing is available.”

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