Over 8m people affected by ‘broken’ housing market

The numbers seem to keep on getting bigger. This week a new report has been published by the National Housing Federation (NHF) that finds 8.4m people in England have been hit by the oft referred to ‘broken’ housing market.

To provide some perspective, that means there are over two and a half times as many people in England struggling to find suitable housing than there are people living in Wales total, and that – as the NHF headline reads – one in seven people across England have been directly impacted by the crisis.

The report’s findings show that this crisis is affecting people of all generations, from young adults struggling to get onto the property ladder, to older people living in unsuitable accommodation. It finds affordability is the main issue, with 2.5m people struggling to pay their rent or mortgage, and another 2.5m adults stuck living with parents, friends and even ex-partners due to being unable to afford living on their own.

It also finds 3.6m people suffer from living in cramped and overcrowded housing, with children most adversely affected. Looking at the spread of issues, the report discovers the main problem facing people in the North of England is struggling to afford the rent, while people in the South are more likely to face overcrowding.

Of interest to social housing providers is the claim that, according to this new data, the number of people in need of social housing (as in, can only afford to live decently in such accommodation) is now 3.6m, almost the double the government’s own official waiting list.

The numbers are pretty eye-watering and hold great political significance, as Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the NHF, comments: “Today’s research reveals the full enormity of the housing crisis – clearly, it is the single biggest domestic issue we face. The government risks losing votes if it doesn’t take action to tackle the consequences it has for the lives of young and old alike, all across the country.” 

The NHF press release and breakdown of key figures can be found here.