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Nationwide leads cross industry initiative to tackle housing crisis

  • 26/07/2021
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Nationwide leads cross industry initiative to tackle housing crisis
Nationwide is leading a collaboration of more than 25 organisations to tackle the UK’s housing shortage, the challenges to go green, improve standards in the private rented sector and speed up housing delivery.

The mutual says the pandemic has exacerbated the longstanding issues of affordability, accessibility and the sustainability of housing.

Four action groups will be set up to look for ways to solve the issues causing the UK’s “housing crisis.”

A report, Future of Home, published by Nationwide to coincide with the launch of the action groups, revealed almost 70 per cent of renters surveyed so they thought they would never be able to afford to buy their own home.

Renters who are paying more in rent than a potential monthly mortgage bill are being locked out of homeownership because of tough affordability assessments. In the report, Robin Fieth, chief executive of the Building Societies Association, said: “The question is whether affordability and stress tests are a social good or a blocker on renters achieving their dreams of sustainable home ownership. Is there a better way to assess affordability as part of responsible lending?”

First-time buyers living in Scotland and the north of England have access to the most affordable housing, with house prices three times income which means they can save a 20 per cent deposit in five and half years. Mortgage payments would be around a fifth of their take home pay.

For those in London, the least affordable region for more than 30 years, a starter home costs nine times income and raising a deposit takes nearly 16 years. Mortgage payments would absorb more than 40 per cent of their take home pay.

Sara Bennison, chief product and marketing officer at Nationwide Building Society, said: “I have been so heartened by the generosity of time and spirit shown by all the organisations who joined us for a series of roundtables on the subject. The challenge was how can we move from rehearsing the problems of the past to coming up with practical, workable solutions in the future.

“By thinking about the whole system together and not just the individual components where each organisation plays, we are genuinely excited by the ideas these action groups can table for the mutual good of all.”

Organisations involved in the housing task force include; the Buildings Societies Association, Barratt Developments, Connells Group,, campaign group Priced Out, the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), the National Residential Landlords Association and the UK Green Building Council.

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