A report published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation this week warns of an escalating housing crisis, which will lock over one million young people out of home ownership by 2020. The report, ‘Housing Options and solutions for young people in 2020’
finds that an extra 1.5 million 18 — 30 year olds will be forced into private renting in eight years time.
In 2020, the number of home owners under 30 will nearly halve, with just 1.3 million expected to own their own homes. The number of young people living with parents will increase by an extra half a million to 3.7million. The number of homeless people under 25 years is expected to rise to 81,000.
The influx of young people chasing private rented accommodation means that young families, poorer and vulnerable people will find it hardest to compete for tenancies with around 310,000 more young people looking for private rented housing in 2020.
The report warns of a three-tier system emerging in a race to find private rented housing, with those who can afford to pay, a middle group who might struggle to pay, and a group of around 400,000 who risk being excluded completely.
Remedies suggested by the report include:
– The provision of more affordable rents and longer, more stable private rented tenancies, using tax breaks for landlords who offer these
– The expansion of local letting agencies who find suitable private rented housing and protect vulnerable young people by acting as a broker between young people and landlords
– Addressing the long term undersupply of housing to improve affordability
Kathleen Kelly, Programme Manager for Place at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation commented:
“Our badly functioning housing system will see those on the lowest incomes really struggling to complete in the competitive rental market of 2020. Renting is likely to be the only game in town and young people are facing fierce competition to secure a home in what is an already diminished supply of housing.
“With 400,000 vulnerable young people, including families, on the bottom rung of a three-tier private renting system we need to avoid turning a housing crisis into a homelessness disaster.”
David Clapham, lead author of the report commented:
"With 1.5 million more young people no longer able to become home-owners by 2020, it’s vital we take the opportunity to make renting work better. To do this we need strong political leadership that is willing to work with both landlords and tenants to make it more affordable and stable for ‘generation rent’.
"Young people are at a double disadvantage — it takes longer to raise enough for a deposit and their wages are generally lower. But there are simply not enough homes and those we do have cost too much to rent or buy. While more housing would help address this, it may not come quick enough for young people forced into renting in eight years’ time."
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