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April 8, 2016updated 28 Jul 2021 3:31pm

Housing charity Shelter has released a tube map of rental affordability and it is the saddest thing

By Jonn Elledge

If you’re planning on living in London any time soon, and you’re neither an investment banker nor someone who conveniently already owns a house there, then, odds are, you’re going to be renting a home.

Good luck with that, because you probably can’t afford it – or at least, not a home with enough space to swing the proverbial. Shelter, a housing charity that can always be relied upon to bring you sunshine, has – in a transparent bid to be featured on CityMetric – put together a tube map of rental affordability.

The map has abandoned the traditional fare zone structure, and introduced three new zones. The vast majority of the network falls into its new “Zone 1” (“Unaffordable”) which means that the average cost of a two-bed rental property will cost more than half the average take home pay of a two-wage household*.

In Zone 2 (“Difficult to afford”) that flat will cost between 35 per cent and 50 per cent of that average income. That covers a couple of dozen suburban stations to the north and west, and various bits of outer east London.

Click to expand, and weep.

To find truly affordable housing, however, you need to look to Shelter’s Zone 3, where you can get that two-bed rental property of your dreams for less than 35 per cent of the average household income. That, though, means moving to London’s easternmost borough Havering, at the far end of the District line; or to stretches of the Metropolitan or Central lines that are actually outside London altogether.

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Oh, and just 15 of the network’s 270 stations fall into this zone.

On the one hand this map is a bit of a fudge. Not all of London is on the tube (indeed, many of its cheapest areas aren’t; that’s one of the main reasons they’re so cheap). What’s more, a two person household doesn’t actually need two bedrooms.

On the other hand, though… oh, god. Oh god. 

Anyway, at least it’s the weekend, so you get to spend the next two days in that cupboard under the stairs that currently serves as your bedroom, and which you’re frightened to show your mum. Enjoy.

My mum says if I get 10,000 likes on Facebook I can have a new Playstation so please like us.

*One person working full-time, one part-time. More of the technical stuff on Shelter’s website here.

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