By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


'Hidden' Baby Boomers suffering in private rental sector, claims housing group

Up to 500,000 so-called Baby Boomers have been hit by allegedly unaffordable rents and a lack of appropriate housing for older people.

That’s the claim made by the National Housing Federation which says that last year 44 per cent of private renters in England aged 50 and over – almost 500,000 people - were forced to make potentially drastic decisions to cover the cost of their rent, including borrowing money from their own children, taking out loans and cutting down on food and heating. 

Some 25 per cent of those aged 50 plus who moved house in the last three years have been forced to do so against their will, often because of private landlords apparently selling up. 


The federation says many more are stuck in unsuitable housing, leaving people unable to wash, go to the toilet or leave their homes independently.

Baby boomers are often considered to have been exempt from the effects of the housing crisis as the majority of them own homes outright. However, the NHF believes some 1.13m aged 50 and over are renting from private landlords today.

Ten years ago 651,000 people aged 50 and over lived in privately rented housing.

The research, which includes a YouGov poll of 3,935 people in England aged 50 and over, shows that in order to pay their rent in the last 12 months:

- more than one in 10 private renters – around 130,000 people – have borrowed money from family and friends;

- around 40,000 borrowed money from their own children;

- at least 194,000 private renters had to cut down on food and heating; and 

- at least 113,000 had to take out a loan, use their overdraft, or use a credit card.


“We often hear that young people bear the brunt of the housing crisis but [this] report reveals a shocking number of hidden baby boomers who are struggling just as much, if not more. There is a huge amount of inequality amongst this age group and unfortunately the wealthier majority have hidden the reality of hundreds of thousands of people who have never been able to afford a house, and are now being failed by the broken housing market” says David Orr, NHF chief executive. 

The National Housing Federation is calling on government to urgently put more money in to directly building social housing, ensure long term funding for supported and sheltered housing for people who need extra support in their home, and ensure there are longer and more secure tenancies for people in the private rented sector.

  • James B

    How does making ‘longer and more secure tenancies’ help when it states above the problem is landlord selling up (due to government chasing them out the sector). Landlord is always going to have the option to sell and landlords who don’t sell are of course happy with longer tenancies anyway. Pointless demands from NHF with this issue

    Maybe if they ask government to support / incentivise landlords happy to let long term rather than hammer them til they sell up this would be a better solution.. obvious but highly unlikely in the quest to secure the tenant vote !

  • Paul Singleton

    Just wait until the fee ban comes in and rents go up even further. That, coupled with the lack of supply due to the government pushing landlords out of the sector will see rents rise even further still. For years private landlords have given tenants the opportunity to rent decent houses at affordable prices but due to government interference and ill thought through policies causing a lack of supply it’s all going to come crashing down. Where are these tenants going to go???


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up