Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Joseph Rowentree report - young people and housing

Reading much of this was not really a shock but it's a good summary of why housing is now and is going to be more and more of an issue for anyone under, say 35 over the next decade or so.  
Disappointing that in the private sector 'path' they didn't distinguish as much as I hoped between those who chose this path and those who are more or less stuck with it.

There are some very general policy suggestions in here, but it's certainly not a 'how to' guide for local or national government on solving the problems in housing.  But it would do Grant Shapps and Cameron no harm to read it, as on current form I don't think they really understand what the housing issues facing young people actually are.

Key points are:


  • Around 1.5 million more young people aged 18–30 will be pushed towards living in the private rented sector in 2020, reflecting growing problems of accessing both home ownership and social renting.
  • Without a sustained and long-term increase in new housing supply, demand-side initiatives to help aspiring home-owners risk maintaining the inflated house prices they are meant to overcome.
  •  Three groups of young people are increasingly marginalised in the UK housing system: young families, those on low incomes and those who are vulnerable due to their support needs. A renewed focus is needed on improving the supply, quality and stability of housing in both the private and social rented sectors.
  •  More stable private rented tenancies might be achieved through smarter incentives for landlords. International evidence suggests that these could include tax breaks in return for more stable, longer term tenancies for vulnerable or lower income tenants and/or other benefits such as lower rent levels.
  •  Social landlords could help tackle the challenges facing young people by helping them to access private rented tenancies and offering more shared tenancy options at local housing allowance rent levels as part of a varied housing offer. 
  •  Without fundamental reform to the housing system to create suitable options, young people in 2020 will be increasingly marginalised in a badly functioning housing system. 



It's worth a look  even if, like most people, you are better informed about housing than Grant Shapps!