A long-term plan for housing can fix this. With a long-term plan in place, by 2035 we could see the next government:
1. End child homelessness
A record number of children are homeless, forced to live in inadequate temporary accommodation, including bed and breakfasts. This disrupts their education, affects their life chances and puts huge pressure on families. This situation is also putting a huge and growing pressure on public finances and services, and risks bankrupting some local authorities. The next government needs to end this scandal.
2. Halve overcrowding
Children cannot thrive if they do not have the space to learn, play and grow. More than 310,000 children in England are forced to share a bed with family members. This affects the mental and physical health of families. A long-term housing plan to halve overcrowding would improve the life chances of 1.8m people including almost a million children.
3. Provide the security of a social home for one million more people
A good quality, genuinely affordable, social rent home provides security and stability. But too often low and middle income families have no choice but to live in expensive and insecure accommodation in the private rented sector. High housing costs reduce their standard of living and force many to rely on benefits to make ends meet. The government can fix this with a plan to build the 90,000 new social homes we need every year to keep up with demand.
It’s not just about numbers. We’ll only reap the benefits of more social homes if they’re the right homes, in the right location, with the right support for those who need it.
4. Ensure a warm and decent home for seven million more families
For many people, improving the safety, quality and energy efficiency of their current home will make a real difference to their health and wellbeing as well as playing a huge role in the transition to a net zero economy. Over the next 10 years that will mean completing necessary building safety remediation works and improving millions of homes, of all tenures, so they meet the new Decent Homes Standard, including energy efficiency standards.
5. Improve affordability
High housing costs force too many people into homes that are too small, far from their communities and too far from work. For decades, house prices have gone up by much more than wages, and rents are now at record levels leaving millions spending more and more of their income on housing. The welfare system has not kept pace, pushing more people into poverty as a result of their housing costs. Millions more now face big increases in mortgage costs as interest rates have risen. With a long-term plan, the government should ensure that housing costs rise more slowly than incomes, so that housing becomes more affordable over time.
6. Boost productivity by ensuring every region has the homes it needs to grow
Unaffordable and inadequate housing is holding back our economy. Across the UK, businesses and workers are struggling as the high cost and poor quality of housing is making it harder to attract and keep workers, run a successful company or build a fulfilling career. integrate transportation networks with housing requirements, ensuring that every region can grow, and that there are places people can afford and want to live and work.