Why we need a long-term plan for housing

Ahead of the next general election, we’re calling for all political parties to commit to a long-term plan for housing.

As we look towards the next general election at the NHF, we’re calling on all political parties to be ambitious and transformative in their approach to housing.

New research: The housing crisis: what will happen if we don't act?

What will happen if we don’t fix the housing crisis?

In June 2023, we published our report Why we need a long-term plan for housing, calling for whoever forms the next government to commit to an ambitious, long-term plan to fix the housing crisis. As part of this work, we explored what our society could look like if we worked together to fix the housing crisis.

But we know this future is only achievable if we take action. That’s why we’ve commissioned research with Pragmatix Advisory to investigate what will happen if we allow things to continue as they are. With a long-term plan, we could end the housing crisis. Without one, research shows that things will get worse.

  • The number of children living in temporary accommodation has almost doubled in the last 10 years. If we allow things to continue as they are, we could see that number rise more than double (from 130,000 to 310,000) over the next two decades. That means 310, 000 children living in unsuitable temporary housing, without space for activities like playing and doing their homework.
  • By 2035, the number of people over the age of 60 in England will reach 29% of the entire population. Also, the number of households headed by someone 65 and above will likely more than treble by the late 2040s.
  • If we allow things to continue as they are, without putting a long-term plan in place for housing, then by 2045, around 5.7 million households could be spending a third of their income on housing expenses. This is nearly twice the current number of people (3.1 million) facing this situation.
  • The demand for homes often overtakes the supply of new homes, and the cost of construction has increased in the last few years. These factors, coupled with household costs rising across the board, mean that homelessness will rise across the country, doubling by 2045.
  • In 2020 there were 22 million homes with fossil fuel heating systems, without a long-term plan this could rise to 25 million by 2045.

Why do we need a long-term plan for housing?

Right now, there are 8.5 million people in England who can’t access the housing they need. This includes two million children in England living in overcrowded, unaffordable or unsuitable homes.

The total cost to our society caused by poor housing is estimated at £18.5bn per year. The total cost to the NHS is £1.4bn a year.

What would it look like if we fixed the housing crisis?

We need an alternative vision for the future, one that is ambitious and built around a set of tangible outcomes. We’re asking for real change, year on year, that works towards a future where:

  • Every child lives in a good quality, secure home with enough space to play and learn.
  • Everyone lives in a home they can afford, and that makes work pay.
  • Everyone lives in a healthy and safe home, which meets their needs.
  • Everyone lived in a warm and zero carbon home.
  • Housing underpins local growth and economic stability.

Pledge your support

We want members to get involved and start the conversation online. Pledge your support for our long-term for housing campaign online by downloading the social media graphics below to share on Twitter and LinkedIn.