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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

Seven in ten parents in South East fear children priced out of communities

20/06/2010


The housing shortage in the South East is so acute that 71 per cent of adults who have children living at home believe their children will not be able to afford to live in their community when they leave home.

The risk is a hollowing out of communities and families being forced to live farther apart.

The findings, based on a YouGov survey commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), indicate that a potential 15 million people* in the UK fear that their children must move away from the community in which they live in order to find a home.

The survey of 2,307 people throughout the UK, aged over 18, was undertaken online between 25 and 27 May 2010 to look at the impact of the recession on attitudes to housing. The sample included homeowners, private renters and people living in social housing and all types of living situations.

CIH Chief Executive Sarah Webb said: “We built around 113,000 homes in England last year, around 100,000 fewer than local communities and experts have said we need in order to meet demand. The shortage of homes for sale and rent at affordable levels in almost every community is already hitting younger people hard, with the average age of first time buyers now at 31 with help from mum and dad, and 37 without their help.”

At the same time the CIH survey revealed a small but active minority of generally older home owners who are opposed to new housing being built in their area. In the South East 23 per cent of respondents agreed that they were opposed to new homes being built in their area, higher than the overall figure for the UK of 15 per cent. In addition, 20 per cent of retired people and 22 per cent of those who owned their home outright nationally said that they were opposed to new housing being built in their area.

The government is making radical changes to planning and to incentivising local communities to support new homes.

Sarah Webb said: “The changes proposed could be positive - putting more power in the hands of communities, but the transition and implementation must be managed carefully or else there is a real risk that new housing supply grinds to a halt. We must also ensure that local approaches to housing don’t mean that the loudest, best organised group dominates decision making. Unfortunately, we know some housing may be unpopular locally, but it is still important and necessary. If it was your son or daughter needing somewhere to live, what would you want?”

She concluded: “We need to continue to invest in housing and as we make the tough emergency Budget decisions we must remember that the 100,000 homes we aren’t building equate to 250,000 jobs and £6 billion in tax receipts back into government. If children are to have a chance to live in the neighbourhoods they’ve grown up in then we must make housing reforms and investment a priority.”

Michelle Chivunga, South East Policy Officer at CIH said: “With average house prices increasingly higher than average earnings, affordability in the South East region continues to be a significant hindrance for many young people. This has wider repercussions for the development of the South East economy as inability to retain young people will impact on the future workforce and skills required to contribute to the growth and development of the South East.”

She continued: “About 80 per cent of the South East is made up of rural areas with less access to affordable housing and infrastructure. It is critical to ensure investment in rural affordable housing and supporting infrastructure, needed to develop the rural economy and to promote the welfare of communities and individuals in these areas.”

Michelle concluded: “Opposition of new housing development will present real challenges for local authorities as they take on their increased roles to deliver new housing in the South East. Dispelling the myths and tackling barriers including accessibility of development land and other issues associated with house building is critical as is promoting sustainable development strategies that ensure delivery in the right areas and places. As part of protecting its rural attractiveness, concerns over green belt development often face the strongest opposition to development. The South East Housing Coalition has indicated that the South East has sufficient development capacity without necessarily developing on greenbelt and greenfield sites.”

*ENDS*

1. When asked if they felt their children would be able to afford to live in their current community when they leave home, 50 per cent of all respondents nationally said they did not have children or their children had already left home, 31 per cent said they felt their children would not be able to live in their community, 12 per cent said they felt that their children would be able allowed to live in the community and 6 per cent said they did not know. This equates to 63 per cent of people with children at home – or more than three in five parents.

For the South East region 50 per cent of respondents said they did not have children or their children had already left home, 36 per cent said they felt their children would not be able to live in their community, 9 per cent said they felt that their children would be able to live in the community and 6 per cent said they did not know. This equates to 71 per cent of people with children at home – or more than seven in ten parents.

The UK adult population is 48,281,900 – source Office for National Statistics mid–2008 population estimates. 31.13 per cent of 48, 281,900 is 15,030,155.

2. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2307 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between25th - 27th May 2010. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+)

3. Communities and Local Government Live Tables on House Building (Table 209) show that 113,420 homes were built in England in 2009/10 (UK figure for 2009/10 not yet available). In 2008/9 a total of 171,690 homes were built in the UK of which 133,830 in England, 7,120 in Wales, 21,020 in Scotland, 9,720 in Northern Ireland. These figures include private enterprise, registered social landlords and local authorities.

23,500 homes were built in the South East in 2009/10. In 2008/9 27,830 homes were built. These figures include private enterprise, registered social landlords and local authorities.


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