Nearly five million households will spend over a third of income on housing by 2030
One in every five households will spend more than a third of their income on housing by 2030 unless a long-term housing plan is put in place, according to a report by the National Housing Federation (NHF).
The report says that rising mortgage rates and private rents along with a chronic shortage of social housing will lead to homeowners and private renters will struggle to meet their housing costs.
The NHF said that an extra 1.7 million households will be living in unaffordable homes by 2030, a growth of over a third.
Within that figure, there are 600,000 households living in unaffordable private rented homes, taking the total to around 2.2 million.
There are also one million additional homeowners facing unaffordable mortgage costs, bringing the total to 1.9 million, which is more than double current levels.
Around 1.5 million families will be on the waiting list for social housing, a growth of around 350,000.
It added that around 150,000 children will be homeless and living in emergency accommodation such as B&Bs and hostels by 2030, an increase of 20,000.
The report noted that the consequences would be “most severe” for those on low incomes who are already struggling with private rent or cannot access social housing.
Long-term planning to relieve soaring housing costs
The NHF said that prior action by governments had focused on “short-term and piecemeal policy decisions around housing” and this situation could worsen further.
It called for “strategic, long-term plan to fix our broken housing system” by increasing the number of social housing being built.
The NHF said that policy should be “based on ambitious and measurable outcomes for people in need of housing”.
The trade body added that the next government’s plan should be properly funded “to meet the target of building 90,000 social rented homes each year for the next decade”.
The NHF said that there should be more funding for the regeneration of existing homes to bring them to a decent standard and make them energy efficient.
A crisis that can be solved
Kate Henderson, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “There is no more time to lose. For decades, the number of families who can’t access a safe, secure home has been rising. Without urgent action from government, by the end of the next parliament many more families will be left living in unsuitable and unaffordable housing, affecting their health, economic security and life chances.
“Many at the sharpest end of the crisis are forced to share beds or live in shared emergency accommodation such as B&Bs or hotels whilst struggling to pay for food and other essentials.”
She continued: “Today’s report shows that short-term, piecemeal decisions on housing have created an emergency that will continue escalating at a rapid rate.
“But this is a crisis that can be solved. By committing to a long-term plan for housing that is properly funded and based on ambitious, measurable outcomes, politicians of all parties could begin to turn the tide and create real change for people in need of affordable housing.”