Over two million UK households are living without at least one essential household appliance.

The Impact of Furniture Poverty

For many social housing customers, living without essential household items is simply something else to juggle in their daily lives. Millions across the UK are forced to choose between basics like food and rent or purchasing a fridge, washing machine or cooker. The 2020 Turn2us ‘Living Without’ report found that:

  • 9 million people don’t have a cooker
  • 8 million are living without a freezer
  • 900,000 are living without a fridge
  • 9 million people cannot afford a washing machine.

The impact of this extends far beyond convenience. Having the furniture to live stably is an integral part of the solution to other key social issues.

Nutrition – without a fridge, freezer or cooker, people living in food poverty are often limited to ready-made meals, which are usually high in salt and fat and lack important nutrients.

Finance – living without a washing machine and using a launderette instead is over 2,500% more expensive, whilst living without a cooker and relying on microwave meals adds £2,100 to the yearly food bill of a family of four.

Social – Buttle UK reports that 400,000 children in the UK don’t have their own bed and share with siblings or parents. Being unable to invite friends around for sleepovers puts them at a social disadvantage – similarly, adults without basic furniture are less likely to invite people into their homes, making them more isolated.

It’s clear to us that without exception, everyone should be able to access these essential items.

What Are We Doing to Tackle Furniture Poverty?

At NFS, we put the pieces in place to tackle this problem, championing our end-to-end rental model which can be paid for by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

Our flexible furnished tenancy solution is designed to reduce debt and financial stress, helping users to build a more comfortable and secure life. We work to help settle communities, meeting the needs of the customer whilst supporting social housing providers. Customers have peace of mind knowing that if an item breaks down, it will be repaired or replaced for no extra cost, whilst if tenants transfer to another property with the same housing provider they have the option of taking their furniture with them.

The impact that our affordable furniture solution can have on people’s lives can be life-changing. When we work in partnership with housing providers, local authorities and charity organisations, we can ease the financial pressure on more households and give a greater number of people and families a stronger sense of home. Explore further the impact of our furniture solution in our recently published report NFS The Value of Furniture Report 

How We Can Change This Together

We’re proud of the difference we’ve made so far – but with your involvement, we can reach further and help more people. Over 48% of under-30s are currently still moving into properties without at least one essential item of furniture. We aim to change these people’s stories and turn houses into homes; together, we can help transform your customers’ lives for the better.

Or get in touch via furnitureservice@yhn.org.uk to talk to our team.