Homes for people priced out of the market

We know that the housing market – whether renting or buying – is prohibitively expensive for many people on typical incomes, let alone those on low incomes. That’s why so many working people cannot pay the rent without support from housing benefit, 90,000 children are in temporary accommodation this Christmas and why homeownership has been falling since 2003.

With the market currently failing to provide enough homes we need to think hard about how to reform it (i.e. unlocking land … Read more

We need to build homes faster

We need to be building at least 250,000 homes per year just to keep up with our growing, ageing and changing population. Disgracefully, there hasn’t been a single year in the last 25 when we’ve built more than 200,000. Last year we built just 110,000.

Is there any other area of public policy where we’ve failed so badly for so long? With such failure it’s no wonder that there’s a growing consensus that more radical action is needed.

Normally the … Read more

How to actually deliver a new garden city

As one of the five finalists for the Wolfson Economics Prize (the second biggest economics prize in the world after Nobel), Shelter’s final submission for the prize has now been published.

We were delighted to be selected as one of the finalists in June and have since built on our initial submission to show how a new garden city could be visionary, viable without government subsidy and popular with local people.

We entered the prize because it presented a … Read more

Clipped wings generation

One in four working adults between the ages of 20 and 34 is now living with their parents (read the research here).

While some commentators might jump to lazy conclusions about young people just wanting home comforts, new research published by Shelter today shows that the dominant reason so many young adults with independent incomes are not flying the nest is the cost of housing.

In a survey we found that by far the biggest reason given for … Read more

Housing in England: three things you should know

Housing remains a top five issue of concern for voters: above crime, education, Europe and pensions. Will it stay there? Today, the government published its full annual research report into the state of housing which may provide us some clues. Here’s three things you should know:

(1)   The big switch

One big macro trend in housing is often reported to be the relative boom in private renting compared to the relative decline of more secure, affordable rented homes (like renting … Read more

Space to build

At Shelter, we’ve been arguing for some time that to build the homes we need it’s going to take a bold approach to the opaque land market. Last night, the Chancellor set out quite radical plans to shake up the use of urban land across the country, with permitted development for almost all brownfield land suitable for homes and a new prospectus  for ‘Housing Zones’ in London’s urban areas. In a great many ways, this zoning approach reflects the KPMG Read more

Silver bullet syndrome

As Nationwide confirms that house prices across the country are now rising at a frankly unsustainable 11% per year, solutions to our housing problems are sprouting across newspaper opinion pages.

Aditya Chakrabortty says that “the problem is not primarily property”, but rather London itself. The huge gap opening between London house prices and the rest of the UK is a symptom of an economy dangerously tilted towards its capital. His solution is a national plan to re-balance the economy away … Read more

Building the homes we need

If you’re a reader of Shelter’s policy blog then you’ll know that England faces a housing shortage and that increasingly it’s a big issue of public concern. Today, KPMG in the UK and Shelter jointly publish new analysis on the scale of the problem, the potential consequences of doing nothing and a programme for whoever forms the next government that would get us building enough homes.

While today we’ve highlighted the risks of inaction, there is a clearly also an … Read more

Let cities lead

When it comes to getting homes built, it really matters where powers and budgets are held.

Ed Miliband is today announcing that he would give power to England’s cities only “slightly less cautiously than the Coalition”, as Brian Groom from the Financial Times put it. Previews of Miliband’s speech in Birmingham today are suggesting that a Labour government would double the Local Growth Fund to £4 billion annually and would allow cities to bid for this pot. Housing and infrastructure … Read more

Turning Help to Buy into Help to Build

With public finances firmly in the political spotlight, we recognise that calls for more investment in affordable homes need to be accompanied by ideas for how to pay for it.

We’ll soon be publishing a report by Capital Economics to look at several options, but in advance of next week’s Budget, here’s a sneak preview of three ideas that we’re exploring.

1. Help small, local builders who are being starved of development finance.

We’ve said consistently that we think that … Read more

Five big housing trends that should worry you

Today, the government has published its annual headline report on the state of housing in England. This gives us a chance to spot the big trends and how they might link to one another. Here’s five trends that have big implications for us all:

1. If you’re under 35, then you’re now more likely to rent privately than be buying with a mortgage…

The proportion of 25 – 34 year olds who rent privately has overtaken those buying with a … Read more

Help to Build

At last week’s PMQs, Ed Miliband and David Cameron traded blows about the number of homes Labour and the Conservatives have built in office. Then over the weekend Nick Clegg threw his support behind the idea of building new towns, even going so far as to name two potential sites. When MPs as far apart on the political spectrum as Austin Mitchell and John Redwood agree that we need to build more homes, it’s as close to a consensus issue … Read more