Engaging the Silent Majority

After a generation of failing to build the homes we need, the housing shortage is affecting everyone from first-time buyers to social tenants. The only long-term solution to the shortage is to build more affordable homes.

Despite common problems with gaining local support for new developments, Shelter research has identified a ‘silent majority’ in support of proposals for new homes. This report, based on a major survey of 20,000 people, is an essential resource for anyone looking to win over public support for new homes, engaging this silent majority in the process.

Read the report now arrow

Summary table: groups most likely to support or oppose new developments


High scoring sub-groups




Age ranges


Political affiliation

ACORN groups

Supports homes being built in local area

Renters and shared owners

All incomes


London, Scotland

Reads Guardian, identifies most with Labour, Lib Dems or SNP

City Sophisticates, Difficult Circumstances

Has actively supported a local housing development in the last three years

Social renters

High Incomes


Rural Areas

Identifies Lib Dem

City Sophisticates, Struggling Estates


Opposes homes being built in local area

Outright owners

Higher incomes

Retired/ Older

South and East of England, rural areas

Reads Telegraph or Mail, identifies with UKIP

Executive Wealth, Mature Money, Comfortable Seniors

Has actively opposed a local housing development in the last three years

Outright owners

High incomes


South East, rural

Reads Telegraph, identifies with UKIP

Lavish Lifestyles, Executive Wealth, Mature Money


Source: YouGov Plc, fieldwork 30th January - 18th February 2015, carried out online, weighted
and representative of all UK adults (aged 18+) by standard demographics. Base 20,176.

See the full report here arrow