Copyright 2017 AST LTD
Could you live without your bed?
Absolutely not! Yet here in the UK, children and adults are suffering as a result of 'Furniture Poverty'.
With a large proportion of society on low incomes which have not risen since 2007-2008, affording to live is getting increasingly harder
Many families find themselves in unmanageable debt from buying essential items of furniture and basic appliances, resorting to expensive hire-purchase companies.
With debt, comes stress and relationships commonly breakdown due to the added pressure of financial crisis.
Latest studies revealed people suffer health implications and even a reduced life-span due to their 'financial circumstances'.
Shockingly, a man in the most deprived area of Milton Keynes will live 7 years less than a man living in the least deprived area (6 years for a woman, which rose over the previous 2 years).
Currently, there are over 9,000 children in MK living in low-income households.
A quarter of the city’s population is 'deprived' and statistics do not improve when we consider this issue on a national scale, our country’s levels of deprivation is nearer to 40%.
The UK has the fastest growing population in Europe for a decade; this is at a time when an estimated 1.7 million people are on the social housing waiting register in England. With that comes a concern of the imminent rise in residual household waste.
An increase in population and housing needs means there's a stronger demand for affordable, essential household items than ever before.
With the trend in charity shops re-vamping their image, shops and pricing structure means these days they aren't for the hard-up anymore, either.
Is there a lack of alternative buying options that fit the budgets for people on low-incomes?
Welfare reforms in social housing in 2010–2015 such as ‘Bedroom Tax’ have been specifically targeted at social tenants. Housing Associations expect some tenants will be unable to keep up with their rent due to reforms, leading to a rise in evictions for rent arrears.
Surveys undertaken with social tenants between 2010-2014 in rural and urban communities revealed furniture was one of the most important factors that social landlords could provide to reduce the risk of debt with hire purchase agreements, rent arrears and abandonments.
36% of who would like social landlords to help with furniture in a variety of ways. Younger tenants and lone parent families were most likely to set their priorities around furniture.
With organisations campaigning toward ending furniture poverty, it is thought further research should take place to consider the part furniture plays through its availability or absence, whether it contributes to or alleviates financial hardship?
Who can end furniture poverty?
Social landlords have a vested interest to invest in finding solutions that could involve collaborating with local enterprises, community groups, citizens and authorities. And exploring alternative buying and sourcing options for their tenants.
Their provision in this area could create social benefits such as improved levels of disposable income, reduced housing management costs, less rent arrears, immediate needs met and anxiety lessened.
Creating more sustainable tenancies will assist families and individuals who are at risk of, or are suffering financial crisis.
Relieving the pressure of sourcing and affording essential items and eradicating the related stress will ultimately help contribute to improved health and well-being of families and individuals.
AST aim to expand so we can assist more people in more ways.
Our wish is to have a bigger space to work from as well as a van enabling us to offer more products, services and to create opportunity for others.