‘Disaster’ for young locked out of owning own home
The study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, entitled housing options and solutions for young people in 2020, finds that an extra 1.5m 18 to 30-year-olds will be forced into private renting in just eight years’ time.
An extra half a million young people will be forced to stay with their parents well into their 30s, taking the total number to 3.7m by 2020.
Meanwhile, the number of house buyers under 30 will nearly halve, with just 1.3m expected to own their own homes.
The number of homeless people under 25 is predicted to rise to 81,000, with further increases expected.
Its findings follow new figures revealed by the Yorkshire Post this week, which show an estimated 100,000 young people are looking for work across the region.
Now the authors of the report are claiming that without urgent action the housing crisis could soon engulf an entire generation.
Kathleen Kelly, programme manager for Place at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which is a registered housing association and provider of care services with over 2,500 homes in York and the North-East, said: “Our badly functioning housing system will see those on the lowest incomes really struggling to compete in the competitive rental market of 2020.
“Renting is likely to be the only game in town and young people are facing fierce competition to secure a home in what is an already diminished supply of housing.
“With 400,000 vulnerable young people, including families, on the bottom rung of a three-tier private renting system we need to avoid turning a housing crisis into a homelessness disaster.”
The report warns of a three-tier system developing in a race to find private rental sector housing, with those at the top who can afford to pay, a “squeezed middle” group who might struggle to pay and a bottom rung of 400,000 who risk being excluded completely.
It says the influx of young people chasing accommodation in the private rental sector means that young families, poorer and vulnerable people will find it hardest to compete for tenancies with around 310,000 more young families looking for private rented housing in 2020.
David Clapham, the lead author of the report, said: “With 1.5m more young people no longer able to become home-owners by 2020, it’s vital we take the opportunity to make renting work better.
“To do this we need strong political leadership that is willing to work with both landlords and tenants to make it more affordable and stable for generation rent.”
He added: “Young people are at a double disadvantage – it takes longer to raise enough for a deposit and their wages are generally lower.
“But there are simply not enough homes and those we do have cost too much to rent or buy.
“While more housing would help address this, it may not come quick enough for young people forced into renting in eight years time.”
More than 7,000 18-to-24-year-olds in Yorkshire are now officially classed as long-term unemployed, having been claiming benefits for more a year without respite.
That figure is more than four times the 1,700 recorded one year ago, and in December 2007, just as the economy began to crash, the figure was just 420.
Writing in the Yorkshire Post on Saturday, the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, warned that the “spectre of unemployment” now “looms large” over the nation’s young people, with more than one million 18-to-24-year-olds now said to be out of work across Britain.