Housing costs force millions to stay at home with parents

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THE CRIPPLING cost of housing has left nearly two million working young adults in England stuck living with their parents, according to Shelter, which is calling for urgent action to help the “clipped wing generation” fly the nest.

A survey by the charity published today found nearly half of young people questioned did so because they cannot afford to rent or buy their own property, as it emerged that in some areas of Yorkshire almost a third of 20 to 34-year-olds are still living at home with parents.

Shelter claimed its analysis of the Census data uncovered several areas where the proportion of adults living with their parents is much higher, such as Castle Point in Essex where 45 per cent of young working adults still live in the home they grew up in.

In Yorkshire and the Humber, 178,975 people in the age group still live with the parents, which equates to 24 per cent. Ryedale and Craven were the worst areas, with 32 per cent of working 20 to 34-year-olds still living with their parents. East Riding was third, with 31 per cent of young people still at home.

Shelter’s chief executive Campbell Robb said: “The ‘clipped wing generation’ are finding themselves with no choice but to remain living with mum and dad well into adulthood, as they struggle to find a home of their own. Rather than pumping more money into schemes like Help to Buy, we need bolder action to meet the demand for affordable homes and not inflate prices further.

“From helping small local builders find the finance they need, to investing in a new generation of part rent, part buy homes, the solutions to our housing shortage are there for the taking. Politicians of all parties must now put stable homes for the next generation at the top of the agenda.”

Chrissie Webster, 25, from Batley in West Yorkshire, is still living at home more than two years after leaving university, despite working two jobs, one as a freelance ecological surveyor and the second at a supermarket.

She said: “It’s very frustrating. Even tiny one-bedroom apartments leave me with nothing left each month after rent, bills and food. I stopped at home during university to save money but never thought I’d still be here two years after graduating.”

Investment in affordable housing is needed, according to social landlord Yorkshire Housing. Last year, more than half of the applicants for its affordable housing were aged under 30, illustrating “high demand” in the age group, according to its New Business and Development Director, Ged Walsh.

He said: “National Housing Federation research said that 16,300 new homes need to be built in the Yorkshire and Humber region each year. To achieve this we need further investment from the Government alongside a commitment from councils to allow more new homes to be built.”

A second Shelter report out last month highlighted housing issues in Ryedale and Craven, where families are being priced out of the market, as fewer than 10 per cent of homes on sale with at least two bedrooms were affordable to the average working family.

Ryedale District Council’s head of planning and housing, Gary Housden, recognised the “difficulties” due to high house prices and relatively low average wages in the area and a need to meet local housing needs.

The council is also concentrating on the creation of more skilled and higher paid jobs in Ryedale. Wages in the district average less than £16,500-a-year – the lowest in Yorkshire and below the national average.

Mr Housden added: “This authority is one of relatively few in North Yorkshire that is achieving the levels of new house building set out in its agreed Local Plan and has been amongst the highest deliverers of affordable housing in the county in the last two years.”

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis claimed the Government’s Help to Buy scheme had ensured more than 35,000 people have been able to get on the property ladder with a smaller deposit. Since 2010, nearly 200,000 new affordable homes have been built and nearly £1bn invested in the Build to Rent scheme to construct new homes specifically for private rent.