Public and MPs think there is a housing crisis in Britain

Three-quarters of the British public think there is a housing crisis in Britain, according to a new poll.

Seventy-five per cent of people surveyed by Ipsos MORI for the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) agree that there is a housing crisis in Britain, while almost half (46 per cent) think there is a housing crisis in their local area.

The poll also showed that the situation is being felt most sharply by people who live in London and renters.  Eight out of 10 (81%) people living in Greater London said there is a housing crisis in Britain and three-quarters (76%) agreed there is a housing crisis in their local area. Eight out of 10 (81%) renters said there is a housing crisis in Britain while more than half (60%) agreed there is a housing crisis in their local area.

In a separate survey of MPs, Ipsos MORI found two-thirds (67%) agree that there is housing crisis in Britain, and almost half (48%) say there is a housing crisis in their local constituency.  The poll also showed that MPs believe British governments have the power to tackle the issue – 86% disagree with the statement that ‘there isn’t much that British governments can do to deal with Britain’s housing problems’.

More than two-thirds (68%) of MPs chose building more homes which are affordable as a top priority for governments to deal with (from a list of seven potential measures).

CIH chief executive Grainia Long said: “We have failed to build the number of new homes we need to keep up with our growing population for too long.  The result is a housing crisis that is being felt by millions of people all over Britain – from young people unable to get their foot on the housing ladder to families putting up with poor conditions in the private rented sector, people stuck on the waiting list for social housing and homeless people trapped in poor quality B&Bs.

“Our poll shows that three-quarters of the British public think we have a housing crisis – as we approach the general election, our challenge to all the parties is to show us how they could help to resolve it.  We know that the government has the power to make a huge difference – by setting a national house building target, for example – and our survey shows that the majority of MPs agree.

“It also showed that more than two-thirds of MPs think building more affordable homes should be the top priority – we agree.  As part of the Homes for Britain campaign, we’re calling on all parties to commit to ending the housing crisis within a generation.”

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “These figures show just how many people are feeling the sharp end of this country’s housing crisis and politicians need to sit up and take notice.

“It took a generation to get us in to this mess and it’s going to take a generation for us to get out of it. We’ve had enough of short-term housing initiatives, now we need a long-term plan from government that tackles the underlying causes of the housing crisis – not just tinkering around the edges.”

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