Low-income Rental Housing Market

Published 22. Mar 2022

Ongoing political paralysis, a crippling economic crisis, COVID-19 and the knock-on effects of the Beirut explosion, continue to put Lebanon under immense pressure. The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) estimates that nine out of ten families in Lebanon are adopting negative coping mechanisms to deal with the ongoing economic and financial crises. Poverty now affects about 74 per cent of the population, while unemployment rose from 11 to 37 per cent between 2020 and 2021.

Poor Lebanese and refugee families are increasingly unable to pay rent. Increased competition over scarce work opportunities and the delay in the roll out of national safety net programs is fuelling inter-communal tensions. The number of individual and mass eviction threats across the country is on the rise.

With the support of the Agence française de développement (AFD), the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) conducted an assessment of the rental housing market for low-income families across Lebanon between June 2021 and August 2021. 67 percent of respondents reported not having any source of income while 75 percent depends almost entirely on assistance. The results shed light on the challenges faced by property owners, tenants and other key stakeholders.

This report identifies further areas of research and informs the design of shelter aid programmes aimed at preventing and mitigating evictions in the short and medium term.