Young people face prospect of never owning home

A new report from the Resolution Foundation has urged policy makers to radically reform the private rental sector as it claims a generation of young people face the prospect of never owning their own home.

The report, titled Home Improvements, argues that more needs to be done to build homes and support young people’s home ownership aspirations, outlining a blueprint for tackling the current housing crisis, including tax reforms to discourage multiple home ownership, along with support for councils to get more affordable homes built.

Figures show that millennials’ access to social housing has fallen as fast as their home ownership rates, with four in ten privately renting at the age of 30. The foundation says that housing policy has failed to ‘catch up with the fact that bringing up children in the private rented sector has now become mainstream’. This way of living often leaves renters with standard two-month notice periods, residencies failing the decent homes standard and the likely prospect of large rent rises at short notice.

Therefore, the foundation is urging for the introduction of indeterminate tenancies as the sole form of contract in England and Wales, as well as fair balancing of the needs of tenants with the rights of landlords.

Lindsay Judge, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “Britain’s housing problems have developed into a full-blown crisis over recent decades and young people are bearing the brunt – paying a record share of their income on housing in return for living in smaller, rented accommodation. While there have been some steps recently to support housebuilding and first time buyers, up to a third of millennials still face the prospect of renting from cradle to grave.

“If we want to tackle Britain’s ‘here and now’ housing crisis we have to improve conditions for the millions of families living in private rented accommodation. That means raising standards and reducing the risks associating with renting through tenancy reform and light touch rent stabilisation. For any housing strategy to be relevant and effective for people of all ages, it must include this combination of support for renters, first time buyers and ultimately a level of housebuilding that matches what the country needs.”