Affordable Housing

by Mark Johnston

Affordable housing includes social rented and intermediate housing, provided to specified eligible households whose needs are not met by the market.

Affordable housing should meet the needs of eligible households including availability at a cost low enough for them to afford and include provision for the home to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households.

The government considers that the housing market should offer a range of affordable housing options that meet peoples varying needs.

Britain has a staggering 1.8 million families awaiting council houses and the backlog is estimated to be cleared in around 280 years that is of course as long as no one else needs a house.

Britain’s rising requirement for housing has pushed the waiting list for social homes to an all time high and according to a recent poll the lack of affordable housing is causing many young couples to delay marriage and starting a family.

The gap between the number of homes now required and the number actually being built is projected to be 750,000 by 2025.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a quick fix, especially not with something as complex as the housing crisis, which has been building for many years.

Therefore there is a great need for more, fit for purpose, affordable homes to buy or rent in England as:

–          there is a shortfall in housing

–          the average home price is now more than 8 times the average salary

–          rents in the private sector continue to grow faster than incomes

According to analysis of the house building sector, by leading home warranty provider Premier Guarantee, the affordable housing crisis is worsening by 165 homes per day.

In 2004 Kate Barkers final review of housing supply for the government was published, it showed how continuing with the current rate of house building simply was not a viable option, which could potentially lead to an affordable housing crisis.

In light of this review the then Labour government made a slightly optimistic promise of building 3 million homes, of this 1 million would be affordable, by 2020.

However, according to the National Housing Federation (NHF), the most recent budget indicated that the housing budget would be cut by25%, therefore rather than labours promise fulfilled by 2020; it could be 2040 before the deadline is met.

Following the house price slump in 2007, it became clear that too many of the homes being built in the UK were the wrong kind and therefore there was a huge oversupply of one and two bed roomed flats.

A move has now been made to stop developers building these and instead start to build more of what people want and need, family homes.

The affordable homes alliance is now conducting a national inquiry in to the affordable homes crisis and how to solve it. The national inquiry in to the crisis will gather evidence on the key issues being faced by those who can not afford or are struggling to afford a decent home.

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