Affordable housing crisis increasing emotional strain on parents
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
Britain's affordable housing deficit is increasing the emotional and financial burden on parents as their grown-up children can no longer afford to move out, new research has revealed.
The ComRes poll found that three out of 10 parents have at least one adult child aged between 21 and 40 living at home.
Carried out on behalf of the National Housing Federation (NHF), the survey of 1,100 parents also discovered that 66% with at least one adult child living at home are doing so because they simply can’t afford to move out.
Nine out of ten (89%) of parents with grown-up children told the survey that they believe there is not enough housing in Britain that people can afford.
While a quarter (26%) reported having there grown-up children living at home had brought their family closer together, other parents were not so positive.
A fifth (23%) say having a grown-up child living at home has caused them stress and a further fifth (18%) say it had caused family arguments. And one in ten (8%) parents say having a grown-up child living at home has caused them to fall into debt.
Parents in higher income brackets are more likely to have at least one grown-up child living at home. More than a third (36%) of parents with an income of more than £30,000 have at least one of their adult children living at home, compared to a fifth (21%) with a total household income of £30,000 or less.
The NHF concludes that unless more homes are built, the situation could soon become even bleaker for parents with children in their twenties and thirties. First-time buyer house prices are predicted to increase by 42% by 2020, while rents in 2020 will be 46% higher than they are today.
That means parents could be forced to look after their grown-up children for even longer as they struggle to save up enough money to get a place of their own.
NHF chief executive David Orr said: “Empty nest syndrome is becoming a thing of the past. Rather than waving their children off as they grow up and move out, parents are stuck with kids in their thirties still living at home.
“Moving out and setting up a family home of your own is a normal rite of passage. Yet as rents, mortgages and deposits continue to soar out of reach, it is no longer an option for many. We’re delaying adulthood for grown-ups kids who are left stuck in their childhood bedrooms. As a result parents are also trapped, unable to move on with their lives and benefit from the freedom which comes when their sons and daughters move out.
“As a country we need to build more homes at the right prices in the right areas now to ensure there is another option. We must encourage more development of new homes and the decisions about where more homes are built are being made locally, by local councillors. They will act if local people say they want more homes in their local communities. Unless local communities speak out in favour of more homes, mums and dads across the country will be stuck providing a roof for their adult children.”
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