The housing emergency is ruining lives
There is a housing emergency in this country, which is ruining lives. People across the country are having to survive without access to safe, secure or stable housing. This affects people at every stage of their lives and from every background. Young babies are breathing in mould; young people are living in unsafe flats; people are turned away from rental properties because of their ethnicity or sexuality. Many people have nowhere to go and are forced to sleep on the streets.
Owning a home is increasingly hard for the young
In 1989, 51% of 25-34 year olds owned their own home; by 2016 this figure had halved. Rates among single people and poorer people are even lower. Most young people are a long way from being able to afford to buy a home; just 4% of young non-owners have the savings and earnings needed to buy a typical first-time buyer home in their area. This makes young people increasingly reliant on support from parents or other sources in order to put down a deposit, exacerbating long-term economic and social inequalities.
We are not building enough social housing
Even under good conditions, we are not building anywhere near enough social housing to meet our needs. But conditions are increasingly bad because of escalating build costs, caused by a combination of domestic and global events, including the pandemic. There is a risk that many planned housing schemes become less profitable for developers, who then convert social housing on those schemes into market housing to maintain expected profits. This could see the supply of badly needed social and affordable housing grind to a complete halt in many areas.