Housing crisis will force our kids out of London, say parents


London parents fear their children won’t be able to live in the capital in future due to its severe lack of affordable housing, a new poll has revealed.

15 April 2012

A YouGov poll, commissioned by the National Housing Federation, found that 4 out of 5 (81%) parents with children living at home were concerned about them being able to afford to live in London in the future.

Nearly half of the parents surveyed (45%) said soaring housing costs were the single biggest barrier to living in London, beating lack of suitable employment (21%) and high crime rates (12%).

The National Housing Federation is urging the next mayor of London to address these concerns by:

  • Building the homes London needs to keep pace with demand;
  • Freeing-up disused public land for affordable housing; and
  • Helping Londoners onto the housing ladder by putting pressure on banks to lend sensibly to first-time buyers.

With more than 350,000 families on social or affordable housing waiting lists and 237,000 families living in overcrowded conditions, London is in a housing crisis.

The next Mayor will have sweeping new powers over housing – from April 2012 City Hall will have overall responsibility for housing, including its funding. The Greater London Authority (GLA) will also become the biggest owner of public land in the capital.

Kate Dodsworth, assistant director at the National Housing Federation, said:

'The poll results highlight London’s core problem – we are a first-class city with a third-class housing system. Parents are increasingly anxious about their children being able to live and work in the capital in future, as house prices spiral further out of reach, and private renting costs soar.

'The capital urgently needs more affordable homes. It is striking that parents are so much more worried about high housing costs than high crime rates.

'What is doubly worrying is that mayoral candidates seem to have underestimated the strength of feeling on this issue. We are asking them all to step up to the challenge and prioritise housing ahead of the elections in May, so that Londoners can make an informed decision at the ballot box.'