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Government urged to prevent a generation rent homeless crisis

Posted on Monday, July 22, 2019

The UK could face a homelessness “catastrophe” within two decades, according to a government inquiry, which studied the impact of a generation of millennials, unable to get a foot on the housing ladder.

Government urged to prevent a generation rent homeless crisis

The report calls for a national strategy to fend off a “crisis of pensioner homelessness”, alongside efforts to build more than 1.1 million extra homes by the late 2040s.

Given that average incomes tend to halve after retirement, the inquiry predicted that 52% of pensioners in the private rented sector could be paying more than 40% of their income on rent by 2038. This would leave 630,000 people unable to afford a decent home and forced into state-funded temporary accommodation.

Richard Best, who chaired the inquiry said: “The number of households in the private rented sector, headed by someone aged over 64 will more than treble over the next 25 to 30 years. But unless at least 21,000 suitable homes are built a year, there will be nowhere affordable for them to live. The consequence is bound to be homelessness for some.”

Kate Henderson, the chief executive of the National Housing Federation, added: “There is now a rapidly growing number of older people who are struggling just as much as the younger generation. This must be a wakeup call to the government that more money for building social housing, and especially housing that is fit for retirement, is desperately needed.”

Responding, the housing minister, Heather Wheeler, said: “We have given councils more than £2.7bn since 2012/13 so that people, including older and disabled people, can live independently and safely at home. The recent introduction of the Homes Act means a fairer deal for both tenants and landlords as we strengthen all tenants’ rights.”

Read more about this story in The Guardian.