What are the solutions
This content applies to England only.
We will only solve the housing crisis by building more decent, affordable homes. All the political parties have said that building more homes is a priority – and at Shelter we’re campaigning to make sure they all keep their promise.
At the moment, we're building around half the amount of homes we need a year. But to solve the housing shortage we should be building 250,000 homes a year. These seem like big numbers, but a failure to reach it will mean rents and house prices will just keep on rising; and more and more people will continue to need Shelter’s help.
There are a range of ways to increase the number of homes we build. The government needs to invest more money into house building to get the ball rolling. Not only will this help us to deliver more homes, but every £1 invested in house-building leads to £3.51 going back into the economy.
We also need to get more builders building. At the moment just a few companies are in control of building new homes. That means they can control what gets built and when – and they aren’t delivering what’s needed. The market needs a shake-up, and we need to make sure local authorities can also start building homes again on a bigger scale.
Finally, we need to make sure those hoping to build homes aren’t held back by restrictive planning laws, and that they can find enough suitable land in the right places to build on. Changing these areas, and finding investors willing to put more money into house building, will help to create a new wave of garden cities and new towns across the country.
Together these policies, alongside other smaller measures, will ensure we build the homes our country needs in the long term.
But there’s also more that can be done now to ease the pressure on millions of families across the country. That’s why we would like to see:
- more responsible lending
- improved advice and protection
- better low-cost homeownership schemes
- a better deal for private renters
If the government takes these actions and oversees a big increase in the number of decent, affordable homes being built, then we can tackle England’s housing shortage once and for all.