Yes there is a housing crisis, say three-quarters of Britons

Almost three-quarters of people across Britain think there is a housing crisis.

Over half think politicians are not doing enough about it, and most people believe that more social housing would be an important part of the solution.

More than three-quarters believe social housing is important because it helps people on lower incomes.

Over half (57%) believe that the rising cost of housing will impact them personally – and significantly – over the next five years.

Overall, 52% support new homes being built locally, up from 40% five years ago and suggesting that Nimbyism is not quite the factor it was.

The survey also found that 45% of private renters are worried about their ability to pay their rent, while 38% of tenants think they might have to leave the area where they are living because of the cost.

In London, 36% of people both renting and paying mortgages are concerned they might have to move to somewhere more affordable.

Terrie Alafat, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing which carried out the survey, said: “These results send a very clear message to the new government.

“The housing crisis is real, and we are simply not doing enough. It’s clear that the British public supports more social housing.

“We have called for a ten-year programme to build 145,000 affordable homes a year, with 90,000 of those at social rents. This would cost £12.8bn a year and would return spending levels to those under Winston Churchill in the early 1950s.

“That programme would unlock billions of pounds of funding from the housing industry and add an additional £120bn to the economy each year through the creation of local jobs.

“Much of this could be achieved by rebalancing the existing housing budget, which overwhelmingly supports building houses for sale. In the long run, investing in social housing offers great value for money.

“The housing crisis is an economic, social and human catastrophe. But it can be solved.”

Sprift 3 end of article

Email the story to a friend


  1. undercover agent

    Personally I think the “housing crisis” (misleading term) can be solved most effectively by the free market, not by increasing government intervention.

    If it’s a “crisis” let’s take some serious action; abolish the green belt, reduce planning permission restrictions (including no more listed building status). Abolish stamp duty and abolish capital gains tax (Removing capital gains tax would get landlords to sell if that’s what the government wants)

    the housing market in the UK is not a free market, it’s wrapped up in red tape, with every level of government putting their 2pence into any decisions.

    Freemarket capitalism is the best tool to deliver affordable housing to the people, we should give that a try. Not build more “affordable housing” creating tomorrows slums.

    1. Will2

      I strongly support less intervention by government milking the markets. I do not agree abolition of the green belt. My reason being that we have seen the increased congestion and pollution caused by increasing population in suburbia by high density housing with lack of infrastructure to cope. The free market does not provide or upgrade that infrastructure. Loss of heritage for a quick buck is also damaging but some building listings are highly questionable. There needs to be a balance but finding that is difficult and highly debatable.

      1. undercover agent

        I agree. A balance is what’s needed and not more government, but less.

        Calling the current state the fault of capitalism and labelling it a crisis, to justify more government regulations and control is not the right approach.

        In my opinion government intervention usually makes a bad situation worse.

        Sensible controls and laws are fine, we’re all in favour of them.

  2. Eyereaderturnedposter12

    IMHO this “survey” (as sensationalist as the “results” are) is indicative not of a “housing crisis” but of wider social and economic problem (note I refrain from using the alarmist term “crisis”!)…

    by this I mean, the problem is not one of housing- it is a problem of actual and expected living standards, from a seemingly increasingly naive general populace living beyond its means and having expectations above its station. In addition, there is a clear gap between earnings and living costs, the former has failed to keep pace with the latter as (IMHO) productivity drops as a result of general sense of entitlement (propagated by many parties over the years) and apparent lack of personal responsibility…

    Stop using housing as this generations’ scapegoat issue…deal with the actual causes and all will be better off.


    1. James Wilson

      Written like a true Baby Boomer, which I bet you are.   You love to talk about a “sense of entitlement” for young people.  But you are less to talk about what you voted for and received:  1) mass house building in 1950s / 1960s including concreting over the countryside so you could buy houses for almost nothing, 2) then in the 1970s you voted for Labour government who inflated away the value of your mortgages whilst 3) at the same time putting yourselves through university at public expense.  But then as you got older your priorities changed.  Now you are minted and so you voted for (and of course receive) 4) mega generous tax treatment on property gains / BTL, 5) gold plated final salary pension schemes, 5) mega tight restrictions on development (not like in the 1950s/60s when you were buying.  This has resulted in the biggest wealth transfer in history to one generation.  But there is a problem isn’t there?  Even your own children can’t afford to buy anything.  So you voted for (and received from those children of inheritance Osborne and Cameron) massively generous IHT treatment on your untaxed and unearned property gains.  So now all is sorted.  You have all the assets, and you can pass them tax free to your kids.    That is why 25% of people don’t see any “housing crisis”.  But Baby Boomers there is only a “Housing Home Run” ….

      1. undercover agent

        It sounds like we agree that things would have been a lot better if the government hadn’t got involved to start with.

        Hopefully everyones learned the lesson and government will step aside and leave the sector alone.


      2. PeeBee

        “… mass house building in 1950s / 1960s…”
        Yeah, well – they kinda had to…
        …’cos the Germans broke a few of the old ones in the 40s.

  3. ArthurHouse02

    The housing crisis is a direct result of government intervention as stated above the market should be allowed to go up and down naturally.

    Help to buy should be scrapped immediately, they are of no benefit to anyone apart from the developers selling their overpriced poorly built properties

    Right to buy should be scrapped immediately. If you want to buy a property you pay market value or you dont buy. Being allowed to buy a property for a knock down price and then sell it at full market value 3-5 years later is scandalous.

    Restrict the ability of developers to hold onto land. Any land purchase should have conditions for construction within 1-2 years.

    When the next banking crisis hits, dont prop them up, if they cant keep going, let them fold. Banks are as much of the current problem as anything else.

    Sorry for the rant.

  4. PeeBee

    Esther McVey has the opportunity to become unique – a Housing Minister who actually accomplishes something.

    All she has to do is involve the one person in Government who understands the housing market – Kevin Hollinrake.

    I’ve suggested to Ms McVey that KH could help assemble a team of industry royalty to shape the way forward.

    Anyone agreeing with this  – then Tweet #KEVINHCANHELP

    Thank you.

  5. NotAdoctor32

    How many of those people that believe there is a crisis would be up in arms if there were 200 new properties being built around the corner?

    1. PeeBee

      No doubt that would create a different form of “housing crisis” for those people, NAd32…

  6. Richard Copus

    I agree with almost everything you say, ArthurHouse02 except for your statement about the banks.

    Anyone who thinks that capitalism is the best method of solving the housing crisis is naive because history shows that the open market does not work.  From the Victorian era and the creation of the high density slum dwellings to house those who could not afford the market rents which was the middle class way of living, to homes for heroes after the First World War, the free market has either wanted to maximise its profits or has been unable to cope with demands.  Every civilised, western country (with the exception of the USA) provides good quality housing for those who cannot afford to climb onto the housing ladder.  They consider it as part of their contract with  citizens.  Between 1930 and 1970 some of the best local authority housing was built in Britain to Parker-Morris standards and it is interesting that private housing was often of a lower quality in the 60s where profit came first. Just look at Terminus House in Harlow to see how the recent trend of conversting office blocks into tiny social housing “units” has taken us back to the cramped conditions of the Victorian era.  We need to look at cities such as Vienna to see what social housing is all about.

    Bring on a major renewed programme of council housing now and let local authorities provide them who understand the problems in their areas.

    1. undercover agent

      I’m not sure it’s helpful to judge victorians by today’s standards. Life was hard and people were poor. (It would be strange if housing wasn’t worse back then). We’ve made great leaps forward since then, not because of socialist policies but in spite of them. 
      Putting councillors in charge of housing, while they also control the rules and restrictions on private developments, is unlikely to lead to better outcomes. 
      What protects tenants and buyers is not government or Shelter, but the other landlords and sellers that they could rent or buy from if they wanted a better deal. Removing competition and options from buyers and tenants, which most gov intervention does, does not usually help in the long run. 
      Naturally in my area I should be the only landlord and I should also set the rules for other landlords, but don’t worry, I’m totally trustworthy, I’m a councillor (evil laugh)! 

  7. DASH94

    There must be a housing crisis – the Daily Mail said so.



  8. DarrelKwong43

    IMHO, plenty of housing, just for most people in the wrong place?

    I think there was a quote the other day, that there are over 900 empty homes in Leeds….

    1. PeeBee

      The fact that 900 homes in Leeds are reportedly empty doesn’t mean that they are unsaleable/unlettable or that they are “in the wrong place”, DarrelKwong43.

  9. LandlordsandLetting

    So ‘a poll shows that’ three quarters of Britons think there is a housing crisis. But as three quarters of all Britons know, 78% of statistics are made up on the spot. The polls predicted the following: 2015 – A Hung Parliament – WRONG! 2016 – Hilary Clinton to win presidency – WRONG! 2016 – Britain to vote to Remain in the EU – WRONG! 2017 – Theresa May to get an increased majority – WRONG! Has anyone else got any other examples of these useless polls getting stuff wrong – and sometimes distorting democracy in the process?

  10. PeeBee


    A bit of clarification is needed here methinks.

    The percentages quoted in the above article are, of course, for want of a better word, b0ll0cks.

    A Tweet today to CIH led me to the Ipsos MORI website, who conducted the survey for them.

    The “survey” takes into account the opinions of 2181 respondents – or roughly 0.00307% of the UK population.

    I wasn’t one of them.  Anyone reading this who was?

    1. Expertinafield28

      The figures for this survey are fine. You can’t poll everyone, so you take a cross section. If as you say they have polled over 2,000 people, then that is a perfectly acceptable figure to extrapolate out to the entire country to with a couple of percentage points of error.

      Just because you don’t like the figures, does not mean that the polling is incorrect.

      1. PeeBee

        I’m sorry – but who exactly said I “don’t like the figures”?

        Just because you have an opinion doesn’t make it fact.

        1. Expertinafield28

          You yourself called the percentages “b0ll0cks” …?


          1. PeeBee

            Yes… because they are.  Doesn’t automatically mean I don’t like them.

            MOST “statistics” are complete b0ll0cks, driven by agenda rather than genuine desire to disseminate the truth.

            If a statistic doesn’t suit someone then they will seldom refer to its’ existence.

            Even those statistics that are borne from truth are derided by those with differing agendae.

  11. hodge

    There is no housing crisis. There is a population crisis and hence not enough school places Hospital Doctors etc.

    You don’t let 500 people into a nightclub designed to hold 300.


You must be logged in to report this comment!

Comments are closed.

More top news stories

Thank you for signing up to our newsletter, we have sent you an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Additionally if you would like to create a free EYE account which allows you to comment on news stories and manage your email subscriptions please enter a password below.