The Town and Country Planning Association has plunged itself into the debate over Britain’s housing, saying that younger people unable to afford their own homes are artifically reducing the apparent demand for more homes to be built.
Housing shortages and the resultant high prices and rents mean that young people are living with parents or in house shares for longer, rather than forming a household of their own, says the TCPA. Rising student debt levels and potential future welfare reform are likely to make their position even more difficult, it claims.
“[Our] research shows that, while it looks as if the projected number of needed homes has dropped, this is because many people now can’t afford their own home, either to rent or buy, and are living with parents or other people longer than they would like to” says Kate Henderson, TCPA chief executive.
“The government needs to see this as a wakeup call. It has already fallen behind on their targets for house building, and this is now having a devastating effect on young people. More needs to be done to build the necessary number of high quality, affordable homes for people who need them” she claims.
The association says a major concern is that couples aged between 25 and 34 - at the time when family formation is at its highest - are expected to be less well housed in 2031 than their counterparts in 2011.
Its research also shows that the government is already falling short of its targets to build new homes. Only 54 per cent of the homes required have been built since 2011. To catch up by 2020 with the number of homes suggested by the projections we need to build over 310,000 homes a year over the next five years, it says.