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Managing the Unmanageable: Debt and financial resilience in Newham
LSE Housing and Communities, Laura Lane and Anne Power
July 2019
Paper No' CASEreport 123:
Full Paper (pdf)

Tags: debt; resilience; communities; credit; low income communities; newham

This research aims to understand the links between work, low pay, benefits, credit, debt, and savings among low-income households in East London. Our work around debt and financial resilience in Newham goes back a number of years to 2011 when Newham Council first approached LSE Housing and Communities in order to carry out qualitative research into financial resilience in the borough. Our final report (Facing Debt) in 2014 produced some key headlines and recommendations around 4 main areas: financial management, debt, welfare reform and overall impact of financial pressures on people’s lives.

We wanted to follow up with Newham residents in 2017 to talk about their money management and financial pressures to see how the picture had changed. Welfare reform was only just beginning when we first interviewed residents in the borough about debt and was much more established when we conducted the fieldwork for this study, in the summer of 2017.