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

Suitable housing out of reach for ambitious young people, says CIH


The goal of suitable housing is seen as out of reach for ambitious young people according to a major new survey on the housing market.

A report commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) to mark its 100th anniversary has revealed that 79 per cent believe that today’s young people will have a hard time getting the right kind of housing even if they work hard and get 'good' jobs.

And 83 per cent of the public in the Ipsos MORI poll - conducted before the referendum vote - thought that politicians should be more honest about the prospect of future homeownership.

Despite the government’s emphasis on homeownership - and the public’s enduring interest in it, seen in the Ipsos MORI/CIH survey - 80 per cent of people say renting is an important part of the UK’s housing mix.

CIH, the professional body for housing, holds its annual conference in Manchester this week (June 28-30) which will attract more than 6,000 housing professionals.

In her keynote speech, CIH chief executive Terrie Alafat will tell the conference that while more government investment in housing has been committed, it will not solve the housing crisis.

“Supporting households to achieve home ownership is a legitimate ambition for government policy,” she will tell delegates.

“But we do need a better answer for the third of households who are not homeowners and for lower income households more generally.

“We think this means paying more attention to policy for, and investment in, rented housing, including providing new homes at sub market rents. That includes new homes for social rent.

“Last summer’s Budget and the Autumn Statement actually increased the resources allocated to housing investment, so a lack of money is no longer necessarily the prime issue.

“We have assessed the amount the government plans to spend over the next five years, and in grants, loans and guarantees allocated to housing this totals just under £45 billion.

“And we know that government has an ambition to build one million new homes by 2020. A scale of ambition which we support - failure to build sufficient numbers of new homes is at the heart of our housing crisis.

“Yet despite this welcome commitment some important questions remain. Perhaps most important is to ask whether the government’s investment plans will indeed help create a housing system that works for everyone. And our conclusion is that it may not.

“The new investment plans will help hundreds of thousands of people. But many of those will be people who are already in a better position in the housing market.”

The Ipsos MORI survey also showed that public perception of current patterns in tenure and the scale of rented social housing was also wide of the mark.

People surveyed thought, on average, that 28 per cent of adults in Britain live in housing rented by local councils and housing associations, while the real figure is about half that.

The average estimate of owner-occupied housing was 41 per cent, compared to 64 per cent. Twenty two per cent of the population currently live in privately rented housing but those surveyed estimated, on average, the figure was 31 per cent.

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