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The Increased Role of the Private Rented Sector in Catering for Low-income Groups in Northern Ireland


  • Paddy Gray
  • Ursula Mcanulty


Although the private rented sector (PRS) in Northern Ireland is relatively small when compared with the other tenures, it performs a number of important functions in addressing housing needs. The PRS is not homogeneous and is made up of a number of sub-markets. Rugg, Rhodes and Jones (2002) have summarised a number of demand groups for private renting, including 'life-stage' users, young people renting a property before entering owner occupation, short-term emergency users, such as households experiencing relationship breakdown, older renters that have been in living in privately rented housing for some time and 'residual users', namely households on low incomes. This paper examines data from the Northern Ireland House Condition Survey, the Continuous Household Survey and interviews tenants and estate/letting agents. The paper presents evidence indicating that those living in the PRS are increasingly 'residual users', i.e. those that have traditionally been housed in the social sector and outlines the reasons for this phenomenon. The paper is based on research commissioned by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive that was carried out in two phases.

Suggested Citation

  • Paddy Gray & Ursula Mcanulty, 2008. "The Increased Role of the Private Rented Sector in Catering for Low-income Groups in Northern Ireland," International Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(4), pages 361-377.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intjhp:v:8:y:2008:i:4:p:361-377
    DOI: 10.1080/14616710802449588

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    Cited by:

    1. Richard SENDI & Barbara Èerniè MALI, 2015. "Surviving In Limbo: An Insight Into Slovenia’S Informal Private Rented Housing Sector," Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management, Research Centre in Public Administration and Public Services, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 10(4), pages 19-39, November.


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