‘State of the Nation’ – National Housing Federation

‘State of the Nation’ – National Housing Federation

10:43 AM, 23rd September 2019, About 3 years ago 9

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More than 8m people in England, approximately 1 in 7, are living in an unaffordable, insecure or unsuitable homes, according to the first ever ‘state of the nation’ report on the housing crisis, released by the National Housing Federation.

The research shows that 8.4m people are hit by the broken housing market, capturing the true breadth, scale and impact of the housing crisis for the first time. It also shows that the crisis affects people of all generations and in all parts of the country. They face a wide range of issues, from homelessness and serious debt to overcrowding and ill health, and many children are missing out on a fair start in life.

For the first time, the research captures exactly how many people are hit by different aspects of the housing crisis, including high house prices and rents, unsuitable or poor quality homes, and the overall shortage of new homes. It reveals that more than 3.6m people are living in overcrowded homes, while 2.5m people can’t afford their rent or mortgage. Another 2.5m adults are stuck living with parents, with an ex-partner, or with friends because they can’t afford to move out.

The research also shows how the housing crisis is spread across the country. More people in the North of England struggle to afford their rent, while people in the South are more likely to face overcrowding or living with their parents because they can’t afford to move out.

The research also looks at what it would take to properly house these 8.4m people. Because of this, we now know the true extent of the ‘social housing waiting list’ for the first time. Almost half (43%) can only afford to live decently if they are in social housing – 3.6m people. Social housing rents are on average 50% cheaper than from private landlords, contracts are more secure and many properties are designed specifically for older people with mobility issues.

While the Government publishes an official social housing waiting list, this is only a rough estimate of the actual need, and is known to be inaccurate and inconsistent. Today’s research shows that the actual number of people in England who need social housing (3.6m) is almost double the number on the Government’s waiting list.

To meet the housing demand revealed today, the country needs 340,000 new homes every year, including 145,000 social homes. Now, the National Housing Federation, along with Shelter, Crisis, the Campaign to Protect Rural England and the Chartered Institute of Housing, is calling on the Government to build these social homes by investing £12.8bn every year for the next decade.

This must include:

  • 90,000 homes for social rent
  • 30,000 homes at intermediate affordable rent
  • 25,000 shared ownership homes

Kate Henderson, Chief Executive at the National Housing Federation, says:

“Today’s research reveals the full enormity of the housing crisis – clearly, it is the single biggest domestic issue we face. The Government risks losing votes if it doesn’t take action to tackle the consequences it has for the lives of young and old alike, all across the country.

“From Cornwall to Cumbria, millions of people are being pushed into debt and poverty, because rent is too expensive, children can’t study because they have no space in their overcrowded homes, and many older or disabled people are struggling to move around their own home because it’s unsuitable.

“This crisis cannot be solved by tweaks around the edges of the housing market. What we need is a return to proper funding for social housing, to the levels last seen under Churchill. Investing in housing is a win-win for the Government – it would bring down the housing benefit bill, provide everyone with a secure and stable start in life, and kick start an economic boom creating thousands of jobs.”

Full breakdown of people experiencing housing problems in England (iii)

Type of housing problem Number of people experiencing this problem in England
Living in an overcrowded home 3.6m
Unable to afford their rent or mortgage 2.5m
‘Hidden households’, including:

  • People living in house shares or with friends who can’t afford to move out
  • People living with their parents (mainly young adults unable to leave their parents’ home, and couples with children who’ve moved back in with their parents for affordability reasons or after being made homeless)
  • People still living with an ex-partner, despite the relationship breaking down, because they can’t afford to move out
Unsuitable housing, including:

  • Older people and people with physical disabilities stuck in homes they can’t get around
  • Families in inappropriate properties, for example those that have no outside space
Poor quality homes 1.4m
Homeless or at risk of homelessness, including:

  • People sleeping rough or in homeless shelters
  • People living in temporary accomodation or sofa-surfing
  • People discharged from hospital or other institutions with nowhere to go

Full regional breakdown

Region Total number of people in need of a home
South of England 2.5m
North of England 2.2m
London 2.1m
Midlands 1.6m
Total in England 8.4m


by Neil Patterson

10:44 AM, 23rd September 2019, About 3 years ago

John Healey MP, Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary, commenting on new research showing the extent of the housing crisis, said:

“These figures confirm the scale of the housing crisis and show the consequence of Conservative failure over the last nine years.

“It’s clear that the government should be doing much more, but deep cuts to housing investment since 2010 mean the country is now building 30,000 fewer social rented homes each year than we were with Labour.

“The next Labour government will build a million low-cost homes over ten years, give renters the rights they deserve and end rough sleeping within five years.”

by DSR

11:06 AM, 23rd September 2019, About 3 years ago

as ever a clear cut case of more homes needed. Easy to get bogged down with the million questions issues surrounding the whole situation as it is now which is indicative of the shortage, but at the end of the day there are simply not enough homes to go around. With no government willing to take a stand and actively look forward and put money into building more homes the effect will be the ever decreasing spiral of blame for those with homes to rent. The long term costs of building more social housing itself (there will always be those who cannot afford to buy or part own) with outweigh the money currently paid out in benefits and emergency accommodation. In the interim the blame will go on for private landlords who are simply reacting to the need - doing the governments job for them and then getting slated in doing so.

by Paul Essex

16:38 PM, 23rd September 2019, About 3 years ago

Am I the only person to have noted that the 35k container 'flats' in Meath Court in Ealing are being rented out at 270 per week! I don't know of any prs LL with that return - no wonder they are Keen to build more. Time to look for a suitable site 🙂 and I suspect that they would be fairly immune from a right to buy as well.

by DSR

16:56 PM, 23rd September 2019, About 3 years ago

Total irony Paul! If I, as a private landlord were to buy land and put these on as a way of helping with the housing crisis, I would not be able to charge this much AND would be condemned in a heartbeat! You are right though...immunity from Red Jez and his plans for compulsory purchase of private property! 😉

by Mike D

10:23 AM, 24th September 2019, About 3 years ago

"Social housing rents are on average 50% cheaper than from private landlords"....

Isn't that why they were sold off the last time, low rents, zero profits, and mounting risks from bad tenants causing high debts, they were sold off to pay for the modernisation of rundown property. State subsidised property is lovely is you can get one, but at what cost to councils and tax payers.

by Mick Roberts

11:19 AM, 24th September 2019, About 3 years ago

And all the time, the Govt & the Councils have made renting more expensive with bringing in wildly expensive (Polly from Shelter's quote) charges they think they can extract (Labour's quote) from Landlords.
Whereas we know Rent pays for EVERYTHING.

Landlord initially loses on the investment, set up, refurb, purchase etc., but then he gets it back from the rent over the years.

The Govt brings in Clause 24 making Landlords incur a loss from tax on fictitious earnings.
Councils charge £780 for Licensing where the house was already refurbed to top standard.
Universal Credit brings about losses from not working with Landlord.
EPC's, EICR's, Pat Testing, Legionaries testing, carbon monoxide detectors, hard wired smoke alarms, Inspection costs by Licensing, Criminal records check insisted by Licensing, sending the SAME passport to Nottingham Council Licensing 36 times, this all adds up. I'm sure there's lots more, just a quick rant.

Ooh no longer allowed to cover ourselves against possible loss by pet damage-Whereby tenant would have got all money back by the way if no damage-Now they got increased rent with no refund.

The initial £595 rent that covered all outgoings, does no longer cover the outgoings that made the house safe & secure for tenant.
So where does the money come from? Oh I see, increased rents.
And now lack of supply cause Govt & Councils forcing Landlords to sell cause Labour think we should all sell giving people chance to buy. Where that leaves my HB tenants who can't afford to buy, I don't know.

Stop bringing punitive charges that u think are hitting the bad landlords when in reality, it's the good Landlord that suffers initially which then feeds down to the tenants.
If you want a Hilton hotel standard, then we know that costs more.
If u want a Landlord to start going on courses when he's 75, when his Letting Agent does all the managing, what's that Landlord going to do? When he's only keeping the house to keep the tenant in a home, u push him too far & he will sell.

by Colin Brammeld

16:11 PM, 24th September 2019, About 3 years ago

Why is it not called Subsidised Housing as that what it actually is. Up to 90% in my area. Imagine a private landlord only paying 10% of actual cost of property - rent would be extremely cheap. Social (subsidised) landlord dont normally supply carpets, oven or cooker, curtains etc which most private landlords do. These are all consumables that are added to rent. Communist Corbyn and his followers want to abolish any thing with the word 'private' in it as they cant control it, housing/school.

by Michael Barnes

16:30 PM, 24th September 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike D at 24/09/2019 - 10:23
But the money not being spent on housing benefits needs to be factored in.

by Old Mrs Landlord

16:39 PM, 24th September 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Colin Brammeld at 24/09/2019 - 16:11In addition to the current subsidies to social housing, much of the older council stock was built with government subsidy, alhough that is no longer the case to any great extent, and those housing associations which began as charities received funding from philanthropic benefactors and charitable contributions by the public. This makes subsidised sell-off via Right to Buy even more of a travesty.

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