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Poll: Not enough is being done to address housing crisis

Words: Laura Edgar
Lack of discussion / iStock-919986746

More than 50 per cent of the British public think that housing has not been discussed enough in the past few years, according to the results of an Ipsos Mori survey.

Of the 2,181 adults in Great Britain who responded to the poll, 73 per cent believe there is a housing crisis in Britain, and 67 per cent say the government can do something about it.

Ipsos Mori conducted the survey on behalf of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).

It finds that 55 per cent of the public, and separately 68 per cent of those renting, think housing has not been discussed enough in Britain recently. It is felt by 57 per cent of responders that the rising cost of housing will affect them personally, a “great deal more” or a “fair amount” within the next five years.

Of those questioned, 52 per cent support the building of new homes locally, which has increased from 40 per cent five years ago.

The survey also shows:

  • 45 per cent of private renters and 43 per cent social renters are currently concerned about their ability to pay rent, while 29 per cent of mortgage holders are concerned about repayments.
  • Of those living with their parents or renting, 61 per cent think they will never be able to afford to buy a home.
  • 38 per cent of private renters believe they will never be able to afford to buy a home.
  • 36 per cent of people living in London, irrespective of whether they own or rent, are worried that they will have to move because of the cost of housing. Nationally, this figure stands at 22 per cent.
  • 68 per cent think social housing helps to tackle poverty.

Terrie Alafat CBE, chief executive at the CIH, said the results send a clear message to government that the British public supports the idea of more social housing.

The CIH has joined the National Housing Federation, Shelter, Crisis and the campaign for the Protection of Rural England “to make clear what the government needs to do to end the housing crisis in England”.

“We have called for a 10-year programme to build 145,000 affordable homes a year, with 90,000 of those at social rents. This would cost £12.8 billion a year and would return spending levels to those under Winston Churchill in the early 1950s.

“That programme would unlock billions of pounds of funding from the housing industry and add an additional 120 billion pounds to the economy each year through the creation of local jobs. And 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.

Chancellor Sajid Javid has said he will be fast-tracking the spending review, which Alafat added is a “golden opportunity for ministers to make the ambitious changes on housing which could start to make a real difference”.

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

Image credit | iStock