The number of single-parent households has continued to increase since 1993, while the number of children in Japan’s aging society has not.
In 1993, the number of single-parent households was less than 800,000, but in fiscal year 2008, the number of single-parent households increased to 123,000, a 1.5-fold increase. According to the White Paper on Gender Equality, 2028 edition, the number of single-parent households has continued to increase at a pace 1.5 times that of the previous year.
We looked into the housing situation of such single mothers.
１． Income situation of single mothers
According to the 2016 National Survey of Living Standards (released by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare), the average total income of single-mother households was 2.7 million yen, half of the 5.45 million yen average for all households.
Low income is also reflected in savings balances and borrowing.
The average savings balance of households with children is 6.79 million yen, while that of mother-child households is 3.27 million yen, a difference of more than double.
There is also a large difference in borrowing between single-mother households and non-single-mother households.
Households with children are more likely to have a mortgage loan of 20 million yen or more, while mother-child households are more likely to have a mortgage loan of less than 100,000 yen. In contrast, borrowing of less than ¥100,000,000 is more common among mother-child households.
２． Grants for Single Mothers
What are some of the public subsidies available for single mothers in need?
We have researched the City of Sapporo’s system and found that the following subsidies are available.
(1) Allowances and subsidies
Child Support Allowance・・・・provided to single parents who support a child under 18 years old (limited by income)
Medical Expense Subsidies: ・・・・Subsidizes a portion of medical expenses for single parents who support a child under 18 years old (limited depending on income).
JR discount system: Families receiving the child support allowance can receive a discount when purchasing a JR commuter pass.
Deemed application: ・・・・ The above systems may also be applied to so-called “unmarried mothers” who have no history of marriage.
The city provides a total of 12 types of loans to support the independence of single mothers.
Funds for starting a business, continuing a business, acquiring skills, preparing for employment, etc. to support one’s own financial independence.
School attendance funds, school attendance preparation funds, marriage funds, and other funds to support children.
Funds to secure housing such as housing funds and funds for moving house
(3) Counseling Center
The Sapporo Single-parent Family Support Center has been established in Chuo Ward to provide all kinds of consultation services for single parents.
In addition, each ward also provides follow-up services for single parents at the Health and Welfare Division.
Even with the aforementioned assistance, it is not well publicized or recognized as useful by single mothers, and there seems to be a gap between those on the government side who want to provide assistance and those who seek it.
３．Housing Search Situation for Single Mothers
Are there any major problems in finding housing for single mothers whose income and savings vary greatly?
We interviewed the agency, and it is generally recognized that there is no particular problem for single mothers as long as the guarantor company is acceptable.
The guarantee company also said that as long as there are no problems in terms of income, etc., there will be no problem with the basic screening.
However, in many cases, a joint guarantor and a security deposit (roughly two months’ worth) are required, which is often a major barrier, especially for single mothers who have just divorced.
４． Single mothers are what Village House is all about!
Did you know that Village House is working with local governments, NPOs, and other organizations to increase the number of single mothers in Japan?
We have been advertising our services to single mothers by listing a total of 21,185 units nationwide in the safety net housing program operated by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW).
As a result of these activities, 1,876 families of single mothers have moved in since 2020.
This is a tremendous number, accounting for 7% of the total number of applications for Village House.
So, how does Village House accept single mothers?
Easy to move in rental conditions
Village House has rent starting from 20,000 yen. And with no renewal fees, commissions, deposits, or key money, initial costs are low!
This makes it possible for single mothers to choose a home with no burden depending on their income and savings.
(Deposit may be required depending on the contract and screening process, such as pet-ownership.)
(1) Detailed screening for single mothers
Village House does not outsource the screening process to a guarantor company, but rather conducts its own screening of applicants based on its own standards.
This allows us to carefully check the circumstances of all single mothers, and to ensure that as many as possible can move in.
(2) Generous follow-up support for daily life
Village House has established a Housing Consultation Center for tenants.
If there is a problem in the neighborhood, please contact the Housing Consultation Center, and we will respond immediately.
Also, a caretaker is patrolling the area, so any problems that occur in your room will be handled immediately!
Oh, by the way, the number of female caretakers has been increasing recently, and we recommend Village House in that respect as well!
- Come on, let’s all enjoy a safe and easy life in a housing complex at Village House!
We hope that this blog will catch the attention of as many single mothers as possible and that it will be a catalyst in some way.