William Eichler 14 March 2016

Millions struggle to access affordable housing

Millions struggle to access affordable housing

Investment in affordable renting will fall to its lowest levels since the Second World War, according to the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).

The Government is investing a total of £42bn in the private market, with only £18bn spent on affordable rented housing - just 30% of the total investment in housing.

Only 12% of the Government's target for new homes to be built by 2020 will be affordable rented homes.

The CIH’s research, published today in their UK Housing Review, suggests that by 2020 there will be a 9% loss in both council and housing association properties let at social rents.

This equates to the loss of over 350,000 social rented homes altogether if further investment is not made.

The CIH says first-time buyer numbers have remained the same for the last two years, despite the significant amount of government support for home ownership.

This, they argue, reflects the disproportionate rise in house prices compared to growth in average incomes.

15 years ago there were over 500,000 first time buyers each year. However, in 2015 this had dropped to only around 300,000 new first time buyers.

Terrie Alafat, chief executive of the CIH, said: ‘The cost of housing means that millions of people are struggling to access a decent home at a price they can afford despite new government schemes to support home ownership.

'We need housing policy for the 25-30% of the population who will never be able to afford to buy a home of their own.’

She continued: ‘We know the government is committed to increasing the supply of new homes, something CIH welcomes and supports, but it looks like support for any kind of affordable rent is going to fall to very low levels at a time when there is an increasing need for this kind of housing.’

‘It's essential that support for home ownership isn't expanded to the detriment of those who cannot buy, even with support.’

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