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Parliament ignoring housing crisis as support for affordable homes grows

  • 14/08/2019
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Parliament ignoring housing crisis as support for affordable homes grows
Britons increasingly believe politicians are failing to address the housing market as the majority of people expect to be affected by higher housing costs in the next five years – the same number as expect Brexit to hit their pockets.


According to research by Ipsos Mori for the Chartered Institute of Housing, the problem is particularly acute for renters and those who do not own their own home yet.

Overall, 60 per cent of the 2,181 adults surveyed said political parties did not pay a lot of attention to housing problems, a significant increase on the equivalent 41 per cent in 2014.

Just 12 per cent believed politicians were working enough on housing.

And a majority, 55 per cent, thought the issue of housing had been discussed too little in Britain over the last few years – with this rising to 68 per cent of renters.

The survey showed 73 per cent believe there is a housing crisis in Britain, this was 74 per cent in 2017, and Ipsos Mori said there was a similarly strong rejection of the notion that government could not do anything about it.


Support for affordable housing

Most people, 57 per cent, think the rising cost of housing will impact them personally in the next five years, with 56 per cent saying the same of Brexit.

Among renters as a group, 72 per cent expect housing costs to impact them personally with 51 per cent thinking the same of Brexit.

Other findings highlight public backing for increases to housing supply and particularly affordable and social housing – 52 per cent support building new homes locally, twice the 21 per cent who oppose this, and up from 40 per cent five years ago.

The survey finds strong endorsement for social housing, with even higher levels of support for building it locally than homes more generally – 58 per cent compared to 52 per cent.

By large margins, the public think social housing is important, with 76 per cent saying it helps people on lower incomes get housing which would not be affordable in the private rented sector, and 68 per cent adding that it helps to tackle poverty.

And 74 per cent support the extension of social housing so that it is available to people who cannot afford the cost of renting privately, not just the most vulnerable.


Renters fear never buying a home

Some of the findings among the 382 private renters and 320 social renters are particularly stark, with 61 per cent of renters or those living at home think they will never be able to afford to buy a home.

This is not surprising given research from Zoopla found first-time buyers needed an average £54,000 salary to buy in a city with a £38,000 deposit typically necessary.

The majority of renters, 52 per cent, also reported being very or fairly concerned about the impact of housing costs on their mental health, and 44 per cent were either very or fairly concerned about their ability to pay rent at present.

Just 29 per cent of mortgage holders were concerned about repayments.


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