Charities call for urgent action on housing crisis

| May 17, 2012
Charities call for urgent action on housing crisis

A new report claims there is an urgent need for more affordable homes and says that five key housing issues are getting worse.

The Housing Report published by the National Housing Federation, homelessness charity Shelter and the Chartered Institute of Housing, calls on the government to ‘get Britain building’ in order to provide the homes that people desperately need.

The report looks at 10 key areas and suggests that problems with high rents, help with housing costs, housing supply, overcrowding and homelessness are all getting worse.

Three of the other key areas – home ownership, mobility and planning had stayed the same since the previous report, while the number of empty homes had fallen and there were fewer evictions, repossessions and people in arrears.

Housing minister Grant Shapps said the government’s £1.3 billion Affordable Homes Programme will provide up to 170,000 affordable homes.

However, the report suggests that the number of affordable homes being build has fallen prior to the start of the Affordable Homes Programme.

Although 109,020 new homes were completed in England last year, compared with 103,300 in 2010, this was well below the average of 142,000 for the previous decade.

Shelter’s Director of Communications, Policy & Campaigns, Kay Boycott, said: “This government has had two years to start delivering on housing, yet this report paints a pretty bleak picture of its current record on housing in all its forms.

“We must now see progress made on the commitments outlined in November’s Housing Strategy and bolder action taken to make sure families across the country can find a decent place to call home.”

It isn’t just a shortage of housing that is causing problems, according to research conducted by Ipsos MORI for the Royal Institute of British Architects.

People who are lucky enough to have their own home are struggling to find enough room to store their possessions.

The lack of space in many homes is so severe that there isn’t even enough room to for essential items such as vacuum cleaners, recycling bins and even groceries.

The Future Homes Commission is conducting an inquiry into the quality of newly built homes to assess whether their design meets the needs of modern living.

It will use the findings of the report to help with its recommendations for the design of houses in the future.


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