The ‘Housing Crisis’ is too often spoken about and appears in the news all the time, but the phrase means different things depending who you are.
For homeless people there really is a Housing Crisis. In the UK capital there are around 1,000 people sleeping on the streets every night. There are about 75,000 people living in temporary accommodation which really brings home the crisis part of the problem.
Has it always been like this?
Before 2009/10 the numbers of people homeless were reducing as local authorities had tight targets to get people out of living in B&B accommodation. There was a commitment to dealing with people and their complex problems, and accommodation was freed up as people moved out of hostels when their situations changed.
The local authorities were also building more affordable homes which helped people to get on the housing ladder. Today however, demand for houses on the rental market is high so rent is increasing. Landlords can easily rent their properties on the private market so there is less demand for council-assisted renting.
The UK is currently failing to build enough homes for those people needing affordable housing, if we are struggling to meet the current demand how will be cope with our future population. With limited houses available this is causing house prices and rental costs to rise higher than the current wages.
How to fix the problem?
Our Housing Crisis is so large the answer are very complex. Firstly more homes need to be built, with the land and infrastructure to support additional houses. More investors need to be found to support the build projects, along with an established construction industry to complete the task.
The UK welfare system needs to be able to create homes that are affordable to the local population, so that it is a long term solution. Having a home is a basic need, from which people build their lives, communities and a long term future.
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