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Cost of living crisis pushes more people towards poverty in York, according to new report

Posted on 27 April 2023

More needs to be done to protect the City’s low-income households and vulnerable residents as the cost of living crisis pushes more people towards poverty, according to a new report published today.

The new report has highlighted key challenges facing York

The York Human Rights City Network (YHRCN) Indicator Report for 2022 draws attention to the rise in the number of households forced to use food banks, with an estimated 6,672 people receiving food through the Trussell Trust foodbank in York. This was an 82% increase on the same period in 2021.

Positive findings

The report, co-written by academics from the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York and drawing on data collected by the City Council, other statutory agencies and civil society organisations, also found there is continued widening of the gender pay gap, which is now more than double the national average. It also voices concern at the lack of appropriate provision for Gypsies and Travellers in the York Local Plan.

The authors of the report said there were some positive findings, including the comparatively low number of people sleeping rough in the city and York's strong response to hosting refugees. There was also good news in relation to the earnings gap in the city, with evidence that the wages of the lower-paid have been increasing at a faster rate than those on median wages.


The report states that there were 354 reported hate crimes in the period, which was down from 402 in the previous 12-month period, an 11.9% decrease.

And the number of young people in the city who were not in education, employment or training had dropped to 0.4% by September 2022, down from 2.7% in 2019.

The report noted the network's continued support for the Reverse the Ban Coalition’s campaign against the exclusion of Blue Badge Holders from the city centre, and the ongoing work of the Poverty Truth Commission.  

Human rights

Co-Director, Professor Paul Gready from the Centre for Applied Human Rights, said: “The York Human Rights City Network Indicator Report for 2022 documents the initial effects of the cost of living crisis in the city. The report demonstrates that York remains a highly unequal city. 

“While there are positive developments as well as challenges, a strong focus on human rights remains imperative if our 'Human Rights City' status is to be relevant to all of York's residents.”


The report sets out a number of recommendations, including:

  •  A call for the widespread adoption of the Living Wage Foundation’s Real Living Wage
  • Strategies to remove financial barriers to children from low-income families to fully participate in education
  • The allocation of greater resources to ensure public information is accessible to all, not just digitally. 

Chair of the Network, Stephen Pittam, said: “We believe these measures are necessary in order to ensure that York makes progress in its aspirations as a Human Rights City.” 


This is the seventh annual indicator report, which provides an overview of human rights in the City of York, focusing on five priority rights chosen and prioritised by York residents through a participatory consultation exercise. The priorities are the right to equality and non-discrimination, education, housing, health and a decent standard of living.

Further information:

For further information, read the full report YHRCN Indicator Report 2022 (PDF , 2,217kb)

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