AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN BRITAIN

People become homeless for all types of reasons: Their personal circumstances and social background, a lacking in access to affordable housing, poverty, unemployment, rent rises, evictions, domestic issues and family or household unit breakdowns. Housing policies and the structure and administration of welfare related benefits benefit play a major role too.

Nonetheless, whichever way homelessness occurs, the route to ending it remains the same. ‘Housing First’, continuum of care, linear and staircase models ultimately all point back to the same end-goal; the ability for a person to obtain - and independently maintain - a safe, secure, permanent place they can call ‘home’.

Industry leaders and colleagues across the globe report unrivalled results when deploying tried-and-tested ‘Housing First’ methodology towards homelessness. Notwithstanding, by far, the biggest impediment to mass exploration - and to creating or operating a ‘Housing First’-led project across any pilot scheme undertaken, both nationally and internationally - reports as rapid and continual access to suitable and affordable accommodation, in both the social and private rented sectorsxliii.

Whilst in 2016, housebuilding hit its 7-year high, construction began on only 37,080 new homes between October and December 2015. This figure was an increase of 23% on the previous year; however, with 142,890 homes completed in the 12 months to December 2015xliv, this amounts to less than half of the 300,000 required to be built each year if Britain is to meet its continually-evolving demand. High levels of immigration have contributed to population growth, with an increase of 5 million people between 2005 and 2016; the sharpest rise in 70 years. UK population is expected to rise by almost 10 million - to over 74.3 million - by 2039xlv.

Despite progressively pronounced need, local government involvement in house building activity has been startlingly lacking in recent years. The number of new social dwellings completed in England in 2013/14 decreased by 23% since 2011/12xlvi. Local councils across the whole of England completed only 5,730 new homes in the fiveyear period between 2009 and 2014xlvii.

Citations

xliii. https://www.housingfirst.fi/en/housing_first/housing_first_in_finland/international_cooperation/housing_first_europe (Web version unavailable)

xliv. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/housing-starts-and-completions-hit-7-year-high

xlv. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationprojections/bul letins/nationalpopulationprojections/2015-10-29#tab-Main-points (Web version unavailable)

xlvi. https://england.shelter.org.uk/campaigns/why_we_campaign/housing_facts_and_figures/subsection?section=housing_supply (Web version unavailable)
xlvii. https://england.shelter.org.uk/campaigns_/why_we_campaign/housing_facts_and_figures/subsection?section
=housing_supply (Web version unavailable)

Copyright © by Amy.F.Varle, January 2018.
The moral right of the author has been asserted.

The views and opinions expressed in this report and its content are those of the author and not of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, which has no responsibility or liability for any part of the report.

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When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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