Few people believe the government wants to resolve the housing crisis

Damningly less than one in five (18%) believe the government is truly invested in resolving the housing shortage.

The government set a target of delivering 300,000 new homes every year for this parliament, but just 16% think this will happen.

UK governments are frequently accused of being short-termist in their aims, while the mortgage industry has long since complained that the housing minister role – currently occupied by Michael Gove – isn’t a cabinet position.

A lack of social housing is often blamed on squeezed supply, as well as the selling off of public stock via Right to Buy.

Paresh Raja, chief executive of Market Financial Solutions (MFS), which conducted the poll, said: “Our research shows just how low confidence has sunk when it comes to finding a resolution to the UK’s housing crisis. This is understandable, with successive governments setting and missing targets for delivering new homes, which has eroded trust.

“But it is not just an issue for Westminster. More must be done by key players across the property industry. Yes, the government must combine policy reform with public investment to ensure housebuilding activity accelerates, but lenders and private investors also have a role to play.

“For instance, more can be done to convert unused commercial properties into residential dwellings; to extend existing homes and housing projects; and to renovate derelict buildings, of which there are many thousands across the UK. A wide variety of creative solutions are needed from both the public and private sectors – and as our research shows, there is not a moment to be wasted.”

Despite this lack of faith in the government, it’s clearly an important issue for people. Over half (52%) reckon the housing crisis is one of society’s most pressing issues at the moment.

Only 14% of respondents are confident the housing crisis will be resolved by 2030, with only fractionally more (15%) having faith that the problem will be eradicated in their lifetime.

Comments 2

  1. There are quite a few factors at work in the housing market. Developers don’t want to flood the market, they build slowly to keep the prices up, they don’t want to build cheaper houses either and do their best to wriggle out of any affordability constraints placed on them on new developments. Political parties accept donations from developers, so they let them get away with it.
    A very high percentage of wealth in the UK is tied up in property. Anything that would cause the value of property to drop, such as more abundant housing, would be a vote loser amongst existing owners who tend to be at the higher end of the social scale.
    The right to buy on Council and some Housing association houses has destroyed the will to build social housing. Why pay a developer full price to build something that you will rent at below market value and then have to sell at a 35% discount after a few years? Problem here is that ending right to buy would be a vote lose at the lower end of the social scale.
    Planning is also a problem. Everybody wants more (and cheaper) houses just as long as they don’t get built nearby.

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