Affordable renting hit by reduced investment

According to research by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), investment in affordable renting will fall to its lowest level since the Second World War.

The government is set to invest £18 billion towards making rented accommodation more affordable, but the figure accounts to just 30 per cent of the total amount being spent on housing.

Furthermore the report, published in the CIH’s UK Housing Review, outlines that just 12 per cent of the government’s target for new homes to be built by 2020 will be constructed as affordable rented homes. It also suggests that there will be a nine per cent reduction in the number of properties let by council and housing associations at social rents by 2020.

This study warns that the figure equates to the loss of over 350,000 social rented homes, if further investment is not made. The CIH also maintains that the number of first-time buyers has remained the same over the last two years, despite the amount of support the government has made available to increase home ownership.

The report notes a disproportionate rise in house prices compared to growth in average incomes. According to statistics, there were over 500,000 first-time buyers each year in 2000, however, in 2015 the figure had dropped to around 300,000.

Terrie Alafat, chief executive of the CIH, said: “The cost of housing means that millions of people are struggling to access a decent home at a price they can afford despite new government schemes to support home ownership. We need housing policy for the 25-30 per cent of the population who will never be able to afford to buy a home of their own.

“We know the government is committed to increasing the supply of new homes, something the CIH welcomes and supports, but it looks like support for any kind of affordable rent is going to fall to very low levels at a time when there is an increasing need for this kind of housing.

“It's essential that support for home ownership isn't expanded to the detriment of those who cannot buy, even with support.”

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