In a blog which appears - perhaps surprisingly - to be supportive of Theresa May’s General Election manifesto, campaigning charity Shelter says 1.3m renters who continually struggle to pay their rent fit the Tory template of ‘Just About Managings.’
The charity claims that what it calls “hard-pressed private renters” increasingly turn to Shelter, looking for support with their housing and paying their rent.
It says the Conservative party manifesto has picked up on the same demographic, reflected in pledges on housing policy including encouraging landlords to offer longer tenancies as standard and building a million homes by 2020, including new social housing.
The blog then says this recognition by the Tories is not new, because Theresa May has frequently referred to what she calls ‘Just About Managing’ families in the period before she became Prime Minister and in the year or so since her elevation to the post.
Shelter then reveals that it has analysed profiles of JAM families prepared by the polling organisation YouGov.
It says these renters are typically in work with a household income of £17,000 to £22,000 per year, often in jobs such as bus drivers, teaching assistants and shop assistants.
“These renters are finding it challenge to keep up with their rent, couldn’t afford home ownership and wouldn’t be in priority need for social housing. Meaning they’d be trapped perpetually in private rented accommodation” claims the blog.
It says this group feels disengaged with politics but is more likely to vote Conservative and to have backed the Leave campaign in the EU Referendum. “This might explain why Theresa May has focused on JAMs during her leadership [campaign]” suggests Shelter.
The charity says around 70 per cent of this group struggle to pay rent month-to-month, often using savings or borrowing to make ends meet. It calculates 800,000 hard-pressed private renters are not even able to save £10 a month.