Welsh Parliament hears that key workers are locked-out of renting in the country

Renting in Wales is unaffordable for a range of key workers, with the median rent in Cardiff worth 48% of a teaching assistant’s salary, new research from Generation Rent told the Senedd last week.

Analysis of 10 key and essential worker roles show that private renting is unaffordable for roles across education, healthcare, social care, construction, retail, and hospitality.

We are calling on the Welsh Parliament to act and address the lack of affordable homes for private renters.

A home is considered affordable if it costs 30% or less of your income.

Cardiff was the most expensive part of Wales to rent with not a single one of the 10 roles analysed being affordable in the capital.

Analysis of 10 key and essential worker roles found that the average proportion of incomes required to cover the rent on a median one-bedroom home in Cardiff is:

  • 48% of teaching assistants’ incomes
  • 47% of hairdressers’ incomes
  • 46% of kitchen assistants’ incomes
  • 46% of pharmacy assistants’ incomes
  • 45% of receptionists’ incomes
  • 43% of cleaners’ incomes
  • 42% of first year nurses’ incomes
  • 41% delivery drivers’ incomes
  • 38% of sales assistants’ incomes
  • 38% of chefs’ incomes

Half of the 22 local councils in Wales were unaffordable for teaching assistants to live in. These were: Gwynedd, Conwy, Flintshire, Wrexham, Carmarthenshire, Bridgend, Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff, Torfaen, Monmouthshire, and Merthyr Tydfil.

The most expensive local councils in Wales to live in were Cardiff, Monmouthshire, the Vale of Glamorgan, Swansea, and Newport.

For the five lowest earning occupations analysed (teaching assistant, hairdressers, kitchen assistants, pharmacy assistants and receptionists) it was not affordable to rent in almost a third (7 out of 22) of Wales’ local authority areas.

Chief Executive of Generation Rent, Ben Twomey, gave evidence last week to Welsh Parliament’s Local Government and Housing Committee. Here is part of what he said:

Please note: These figures have been calculated using government figures from the Welsh Gov ad-hoc statistical requests on ‘One Bedrooms’ monthly rents recorded 2022-23 and the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) 2023.


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Individual Advice

Generation Rent can’t offer advice about individual problems. Here are a few organisations that can:

You might also find quick but informal help on ACORN’s Facebook forum, and there are more suggestions on The Renters Guide.