William Eichler 17 April 2018

Housing shortage condemns ‘millennials' to renting for life

A think tank has called for councils to receive more support to build affordable housing as report reveals a third of millennials face renting from ‘cradle to grave.’

New research from Resolution Foundation has found the housing crisis has condemned many people in their early 30s to living in an ‘insecure’ private rented sector.

The think tank’s report, entitled Home Improvements, found four in 10 millennials - defined as those who reached young adulthood at the beginning of the 21st century - rent in the private sector.

This is double the rate for generation X (born 1965-85) and four times that for baby boomers (1945-65) at the same age.

The report argued this reflects the fact that millennials have little access to either affordable or social housing.

If home ownership growth follows the weak pattern of the 2000s, the research found, up to half of millennials could be renting (either privately or in the social rented sector) in their 40s.

A third could still be renting by the time they claim their pensions.

‘Britain’s housing problems have developed into a full-blown crisis over recent decades and young people are bearing the brunt – paying a record share of their income on housing in return for living in smaller, rented accommodation,’ said Lindsay Judge, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation.

‘While there have been some steps recently to support housebuilding and first time buyers, up to a third of millennials still face the prospect of renting from cradle to grave.

‘If we want to tackle Britain’s ‘here and now’ housing crisis we have to improve conditions for the millions of families living in private rented accommodation. That means raising standards and reducing the risks associating with renting through tenancy reform and light touch rent stabilisation.

‘For any housing strategy to be relevant and effective for people of all ages, it must include this combination of support for renters, first time buyers and ultimately a level of housebuilding that matches what the country needs.’

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