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

Three in five parents fear children priced out of communities


The housing shortage in the UK is so acute that 63 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 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. 15 per cent of respondents agreed that they were opposed to new homes being built in their area and this rose to 20 per cent of retired people and 22 per cent of those who owned their home outright.

The government is making radical changes to planning and to incentivise 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.”


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 respondents 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.

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 between 25th - 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.

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