Furniture Poverty

A house without furniture isn’t a home. It’s something different entirely. Empty, cold and closed to the world. Incapable of unlocking potential and creating community.

At ​Furniture Bank we are working to create communities where we all belong – and create a world where everyone has the dignity of a furnished home.

What is furniture poverty?

Any person or a family without the financial means to make their empty housing into a furnished home is said to live in furniture poverty.

Not having a bed to sleep on means a poor night’s sleep, affecting your ability to live, work and study.

Not having a sofa to sit on means you can be unwilling to invite friends or support workers into your home.

Empty housing can lead people to return to a shelter where at least they have a bed to sleep on. There are harmful physical, emotional, and financial consequences of furniture poverty.

Furniture poverty is a continuum:

  • Furniture Insecurity: A household has the items they need for now. If something essential breaks or needs replacing, they do not have the means to do so. These households are often moving from one crisis to another.
  • Furniture Destitution: Where a household has none or very few of the basic items needed. In a long-term, chronic situation.

Learn more about furniture poverty and its effects >