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CIH conference blog: Our housing system is becoming more and more unequal

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CIH conference blog: Our housing system is becoming more and more unequal

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing

CIH launches first tenancy fraud forum CIH launches first tenancy fraud forum

By Grainia Long, chief executive, Chartered Institute of Housing

The increasing inequality in our housing system is taking its toll – it’s time to take action.

The gap between the haves and have-nots in our housing system is getting bigger all the time.  As detailed in our UK Housing Review 2014, there’s a very striking gap between council tenants’ incomes and those in other sectors across Great Britain.  In 1980 there was little difference in incomes between council tenants and both outright owners or private rented sector tenants. Now, both groups earn twice as much as council tenants and homebuyers earn more than three times as much as council tenants.

Whether you’re a home-owner, a social housing tenant or you live in a private rented home, the cost of housing is having a  big impact, as our latest poll with Ipsos MORI found.  People are worried – a quarter (24%) of Britons are concerned about being able to pay the rent or mortgage right now, while 29% are concerned about being able to meet their monthly payments in 12 months’ time.  A third (32%) say their housing costs are causing them a great deal or fair amount of stress.

It is not just now and the next 12 months they are worried about – one in five fear they might have to leave their local area in the future because the cost of housing is too high. One of the most striking things to emerge was the impact on younger generations - more than a third of 16-24-year-olds and a quarter of 25-34-year-olds agree that they might have to move.  And half of 16-24-year-olds say that rising house prices would be a very or fairly bad thing for them personally, compared with 32% across Great Britain as a whole.

Some 60% of Britons believe it is harder for them to buy or rent a home than it was for their parent’s generation when they were the same age, and looking even further ahead, 75% believe it will be harder for the children of today to buy or rent a home than it is for them.  If one our main aims as a society is to leave the world a better place for future generations, we must take action now to tackle the inequalities in our housing system and address the housing crisis head-on.


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