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Recent public survey demands "give housing more attention"

Wednesday 14 August 2019

A growing proportion of Britons think that the political parties don’t pay a lot of attention to housing, according to new research.

The survey, carried out by Ipsos Mori on behalf of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), gathered opinions from 2,181 adults across Great Britain, with the data weighted to reflect the population and found that 57 per cent of people think the rising cost of housing will impact on them personally either a great deal or a fair amount in the next five years – with 56 per cent saying the same for Brexit.

Nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) agreed that Britain has a housing crisis, with 55% feeling it has been discussed too little over the past few years. This figure rises to 68% for renters.

Those surveyed also indicated support for social housing, with 76 per cent agreeing the tenure is important because it helps people on lower incomes access housing which would not be affordable in the private rented sector, and 68 per cent feeling it helps to tackle poverty.

Terrie Alafat, Chief Executive of the CIH, said: “These results send a very clear message to the new government. The housing crisis is real, and we are simply not doing enough. It’s clear that the British public supports more social housing.

“We need to make sure everyone has a place to call home, and this survey reinforces what we’ve been saying for a long time – for too many people housing is simply unaffordable.”

She said that the survey showed that people believe the government can and should do something about the housing crisis.

She added: “We have given the government a solution, a solution that would add billions to our national economy and help millions of our fellow citizens.”

The CIH, together with the National Housing Federation, Shelter, Crisis and the Campaign to Protect Rural England, has called on government to stump up £12.8bn a year to build 1.45 million affordable homes over the next decade, including 900,000 for social rent.

Ms Alafat said the Comprehensive Spending Review is a “golden opportunity” for ministers to make a change to housing.

52 per cent of people surveyed supported new homes being built locally, up from 40% five years ago.

Among renters, 45 per cent in the private sector were worried about their ability to pay the rent, with 43 per cent of social renters feeling the same – compared with 29 per cent of mortgage holders concerned about repayments.

Sixty-one per cent of renters or people living with their parents believe they will never be able to afford to buy a home.

The survey