This blog was originally posted on the Homes for Britain website on 8 April 2015.
Twenty five years ago, almost one third of first time home buyers were aged under 25. Today, 16% of first time buyers are under 25.
The stark reality of that figure, reported by the CIH, is this: More homes are becoming overcrowded due to house shares, where tenants are paying rents equivalent to half their salary.
More young people are paying thousands to commute to work because they can’t afford to live nearby.
More young people are living at home with their parents because that’s the only way they can save enough for a deposit.
I’m one of those still living at home. I’m fortunate that my job, lifestyle and location mean I’m able to save towards a deposit, but the thousands of young people who live and work in – or commute to – London or other expensive UK cities aren’t quite so fortunate.
Some will argue that it’s a lifestyle choice, but we should be free to choose between owning or renting a home as our parents did 25 years ago – not forced into a choice.
Ultimately, it’s about having affordable, accessible housing, to rent or buy.
Working for mhs homes – a housing association in Kent – has highlighted to me the importance of having good quality, affordable homes that are within the reach of normal hardworking people.
There are 20,000 people on the housing waiting list in Medway. That’s the same figure as the number of people who already live in a mhs homes property.
My employer is trying to keep up with this demand by building homes for affordable rent and shared ownership; aiming to complete 400 homes over two years.
mhs homes is building more new homes than it has in its entire 25 year history, and we can’t build them quickly enough.