by Mark Johnston
The UK Housing Crisis.
The British dream of property ownership has become a nightmare, with many struggling to find any home at all.
Housing is an issue that affects every one of us, from our health and emotional well-being, to our achievement in education and our ability to get work, where we live has an enormous impact on our live
However, over recent years it has become clear that Britain is facing a new housing crisis in both the private and rented sectors.
This particular problem has been fuelled by a number of factors which include a rising population, changing lifestyles with more single occupancy, land availability and cost.
There has been a severe slump in construction in most parts of the country it seems the number of new households is increasing faster than the number of house builds.
The Government has proposed 150,000 affordable homes over the next four years but this is clearly less than a third of what is needed.
The National Housing Federation (NHF) says England is not building enough homes to house the children born in the first 10 years of this century.
According to a recent report a surge in births in England between 2001 and 2011 will mean millions of people struggle to find housing when they reach adulthood in the 2020s. Approximately6.9 million babies born between 2001 and 2011, during the same fruitfully fertile decade, just 1.6 million new homes were built.
National Housing Federation (NFH) director Ruth Davison said: ‘We failed to fix the housing market for the Eighties baby boomers because we simply did not build enough homes , but rather than learn from past mistakes, the country is still not building enough homes to tackle the problem.”
To put it simply there are just not enough decent, affordable homes. In 2008/09, 654,000 households in England were overcrowded.
Recent data shows that around 7.4 million homes in England fail to meet the Government’s Decent Homes Standard.
Figure have also revealed that in 2009/10, more than 62,000 households were found to be homeless by local authorities. At the end of September 2010, 49,000 households were living in temporary accommodation arranged by local authorities. Just over 38,000 of these households had dependent children.
The fact is not enough new homes are being built to satisfy existing demand; demand will only grow year on year.
Therefore it appears that Britain is heading for a property shortage of more than a million homes by 2022 unless the current rate of house building is dramatically increased.
In conclusion not enough is being done to tackle our severe lack of affordable housing now but looming on the horizon is an even bigger challenge for the country. Industry experts feel that we can not keep leaving this problem for the next government to sort out. Budget deficit or not, billions of pounds in public money must be poured into building new social housing.
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