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Housing crisis: England needs four million extra homes

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Written by: Lana Clements
18/05/2018
England faces a shortfall of almost four million homes, as the housing crisis continues to rage across the country, according to research.

To meet the backlog and provide for future demand, the country needs to build 340,000 homes a year until 2031, the research carried out by Heriot-Watt University found.

And 145,000 of these new homes should be affordable, with 90,000 for social rent, 30,000 for intermediate affordable rent and 25,000 should be for shared ownership.

The government’s current target is to build 300,000 homes for first-time buyers a year.

Those in desperate need of accommodation include homeless people, private tenants spending huge amounts on rent, children unable to leave the family home, and couples delaying having children because they are stuck in unsuitable housing, the National Housing Federation (NHF) and charity Crisis said.

Government action

They have now called on the government to take action to tackle the problem, which is expected to publish a social housing green paper this summer.

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “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.”

Terrie Alafat, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, added: “This 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.

“What the report also shows is that this isn’t just a numbers game and we have to make sure we build the right homes, in the right places and that people can afford them. For most people social rented housing is the only truly affordable option and the government must support the building of many more of these crucial homes.”

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