England needs an extra 340,000 new homes every year. According to research commissioned by the National Housing Federation (NHF), England has a housing shortage of four million homes, and the Government’s own target of building 300,000 new homes every year by the mid-2020s won’t be enough to resolve the issue.
The research for the NHF was carried out by Heriot-Watt University and will be published in full in the summer.
It concluded that a combination of homelessness, high property prices and a shortage of suitable property has led to the current housing crisis. Of the 340,000 new homes the university team say are required annually until 2031, almost half – 145,000 – would need to be affordable homes.
Living in unsuitable accommodation
According to the NHF, those in desperate need of extra housing include the homeless, adult children who cannot afford to leave the family home, private tenants spending a significant proportion of their income on rent and couples delaying starting a family because they live in unsuitable accommodation.
David Orr, NHF chief executive, said: “This groundbreaking new research shows the epic scale of the housing crisis in England. The shortfall of homes can’t be met overnight – instead, we need an urgent effort from the Government to meet this need before it publishes its social housing green paper in the summer.
“The green paper will set out the Government’s approach to tackling a number of key issues, like stigma of social housing tenants. However, it is clear that many of these stem from a chronic underinvestment in affordable housing.
“Fixing this should be the Government’s top priority. The Government must also totally change the way it sells surplus land. The priority here must be supporting developments that will deliver a public good on public land, rather than simply selling it off to the highest bidder.”
Bold and ambitious plan needed
And Terrie Alafat CBE, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, added: “This new report once again highlights the chronic housing shortage we face in the UK and it is clear that only a bold and ambitious plan to solve the housing crisis will prevent a decent, genuinely affordable home being out of reach for our children and their children.”