The survey of 2,307 people throughout the UK, aged over 18, was undertaken online between 25 and 27 May 2010 to look at the impact of the recession on attitudes to housing. The sample included homeowners, private renters and people living in social housing and all types of living situations.
CIH Chief Executive Sarah Webb said: “We built 113,000 homes in England last year, around 100,000 fewer than local communities and experts have said we need in order to meet demand. The shortage of homes for sale and rent at affordable levels in almost every community is already hitting younger people hard, with the average age of first time buyers now at 31 with help from mum and dad, and 37 without their help.”
At the same time the CIH survey revealed a small but active minority of generally older home owners who are opposed to new housing being built in their area. 15 per cent of respondents agreed that they were opposed to new homes being built in their area and this rose to 20 per cent of retired people and 22 per cent of those who owned their home outright.
The government is making radical changes to planning and to incentivise local communities to support new homes.
Sarah Webb said: “The changes proposed could be positive – putting more power in the hands of communities, but the transition and implementation must be managed carefully or else there is a real risk that new housing supply grinds to a halt. We must also ensure that local approaches to housing don’t mean that the loudest, best organised group dominates decision making. Unfortunately, we know some housing may be unpopular locally, but it is still important and necessary. If it was your son or daughter needing somewhere to live, what would you want?”
She concluded: “We need to continue to invest in housing and as we make the tough emergency Budget decisions we must remember that the 100,000 homes we aren’t building equate to 250,000 jobs and £6 billion in tax receipts back into government. If children are to have a chance to live in the neighbourhoods they’ve grown up in then we must make housing reforms and investment a priority.”
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