‘Generation rent’ have given up hope of buying own home, says Shelter

Published: Monday 21st March 2016 by The News Editor

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Three-quarters of people in Britain fear it will be impossible for future generations to have a home to settle down in, a poll has revealed.

The majority of Britons want to own their own home, but “generation rent” is giving up on getting on the property ladder, housing charity Shelter warned.

Shelter branded the findings “alarming” and warned the country is at the “mercy of the housing crisis” which has left millions facing a “lifetime of instability”.

The Ipsos MORI survey, commissioned by Shelter and British Gas, found that for recent generations the chance to have a “forever home” has been slipping increasingly out of reach.

The poll of 1,906 people found 74% of people in younger Generation X and Y said it is harder for them to get a home to settle down in than it was for their parents’ generation.

This compares with 44% of people born in the baby boomer or pre-war years.

A large majority of people who do not live in a long-term home say they would like to, either now or in future, so they can have stability and put down roots, the charity said.

But this is out of reach for many, with the research showing that 25 to 34-year-olds have moved more than twice as frequently per year of their lifetime as pensioners.

The research comes as Britain faces a growing housing crisis fuelled by escalating rents, wage freezes and benefit cuts.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “The fact that vast numbers of people fear their grandchildren will never have a home to put down roots in highlights the sad truth that this country is once again at the mercy of a housing crisis.

“While we have made progress over the last 50 years, our current housing shortage means millions are facing a lifetime of instability and, understandably, people are giving up hope. But if our history tells us anything, it’s that together we can make things change.

“For the sake of future generations we cannot make this crisis someone else’s problem.”

Shelter was founded 50 years ago amid widespread public outcry at the slum conditions which blighted large parts of Britain’s cities.

To mark its half century, the charity is launching the Great Home Debate to spark the country’s “biggest ever conversation about the meaning of home”.

Mr Robb told the Press Association that young people are being increasingly priced out of a housing market that has become deeply dysfunctional.

He said: “You have graduates starting on £40,000 to £45,000 in London, and they don’t take the jobs because they can’t afford to live in London or can’t afford to buy because it is so expensive.

“The cost of buying a home just bears no relation now to what people can afford.

“We are seeing a generation of people now in their 50s or 60s who are looking at their children, and their children will be worse off than they are.

“That is the first generation since the Second World War that we are seeing that happen to, and that is primarily because of the housing market.”

Shelter has invited people to join the Great Home Debate by sharing their views on “what home means to them” at www.greathomedebate.org.uk.

Published: Monday 21st March 2016 by The News Editor

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