Government failing to tackle Britain’s housing crisis

17 May 2012

A family sharing a bedroom

Leading housing groups have warned today that the Government is failing to tackle the country’s growing housing crisis.

In their second Housing Report, the National Housing Federation, Shelter and The Chartered Institute of Housing warn the Government is failing to deliver on five out of ten key housing indicators:

  • affordability of the private rented sector
  • help with housing costs
  • homelessness
  • housing supply
  • overcrowding.

The warning comes as new figures show housebuilding starts are down 11% on the last quarter.

The Housing Report warns ministers of the urgency of meeting the nation’s housing needs as pressures, such as falling incomes and a growing and ageing population, intensify over the coming years - putting an increasing strain on Britain’s broken housing market.

The report also urges the Government to make good on its promises, in particular to ‘get Britain building’, to provide much-needed homes for thousands of families, as well as delivering new jobs and economic growth.

Kay Boycott, Director of Communications, Policy and Campaigns at Shelter, said: ‘Every day Shelter sees families up and down the country whose lives are being torn apart by the shortage of affordable homes.

‘This government has had two years to start delivering on housing, yet this report paints a pretty bleak picture of its current record on housing in all its forms.

'We must now see progress made on the commitments outlined in November’s Housing Strategy and bolder action taken to make sure families across the country can find a decent place to call home.’

Commenting on today's housebuilding figures, Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of Shelter, said: 'The fall in construction is one of the key reasons we are still in a recession. 

'So to see housebuilding starts down 11% on levels that already don’t even scratch the surface of what’s needed is extremely concerning.

'Increasing housebuilding would take some pressure off our overheated market and help to bring down rent and mortgage costs at a time when so many families are finding it difficult to make ends meet.'