Three-quarters of British public believe there is a housing crisis

A further 55% of the public think housing has not been discussed enough in Britain over the last few years.

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Almost three-quarters of people across Great Britain believe there’s a housing crisis – and more than half think it’s not spoken about enough, according to a new survey by Ipsos MORI for the Chartered Institute of Housing.

As outlined in reports, 57% think that the rising cost of housing will impact on them personally a great deal or a fair amount in the next five years – with 56% saying the same of ‘Brexit’.

Overall 55% of the public, and 68% of renters, think housing has been discussed too little in Britain over the last few years, with a further 52% of people supporting the building of new homes locally, up from 40% five years ago.

The survey also shows ‘strong public support’ for more social housing, with large margins thinking that social housing is important because it helps people on lower incomes get housing which wouldn’t be affordable in the private rented sector.

On the survey, CIH chief executive Terrie Alafat CBE said that the results send a “very clear message” to the new government that the housing crisis is real and not enough is being done about it.

“On Friday (9th August) the Chancellor announced he was ‘fast-tracking the comprehensive spending review. Here is a golden opportunity for ministers to make the ambitious changes on housing which could start to make a real difference”, she said.

Alafat also emphasises that the survey results back the launch of a sector-wide coalition urging government to invest £12.8bn annually to end housing crisis.

As reported by 24housing, the programme would unlock billions of pounds of funding from the housing industry and add an additional £120bn to the economy each year.

“Much of this could be achieved by rebalancing the existing housing budget, which overwhelmingly supports building houses for sale. In the long run, investing in social housing offers great value for money.

“The housing crisis is an economic, social and human catastrophe. But it can be solved. There is a solution; a solution that would add billions to our national economy and help millions of our fellow-citizens”, Alafat added.

The survey also revealed:

  • 45% of private renters and 43% of social renters are concerned about their ability to pay rent at present (29% of mortgage holders are concerned about repayment)
  • Of those renting or living at home with their parents, 61% think they will never be able to afford to buy a home
  • More than a third of private renters, 38%, worry they’ll have to leave their local area because of the unaffordable cost of housing
  • 36% of people in London, whether renting or buying, are concerned they may have to move because of the cost of housing; nationally the figure is 22%

Terrie Alafat said: “We support the aspiration of those who want to buy their own home, but for many others home-ownership is either not an aspiration or not an option.

“We need to make sure everyone has a place to call home, and this survey reinforces what we’ve been saying for a long time – for too many people housing is simply unaffordable.

“This survey shows that people believe the government can and should do something about the housing crisis.

“We have given the government a solution: a solution that would add billions to our national economy and help millions of our fellow-citizens.”

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