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.

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

High scoring sub-groups
Own/RentIncomesAge rangesLocationPolitical affiliationACORN groups
Supports homes being built in local areaRenters and shared ownersAll incomes25-34London, ScotlandReads Guardian, identifies most with Labour, Lib Dems or SNPCity Sophisticates, Difficult Circumstances
Has actively supported a local housing development in the last three yearsSocial rentersHigh Incomes25-34Rural AreasIdentifies Lib DemCity Sophisticates, Struggling Estates
Opposes homes being built in local areaOutright ownersHigher incomesRetired/ OlderSouth and East of England, rural areasReads Telegraph or Mail, identifies with UKIPExecutive Wealth, Mature Money, Comfortable Seniors
Has actively opposed a local housing development in the last three yearsOutright ownersHigh incomesRetired/OlderSouth East, ruralReads Telegraph, identifies with UKIPLavish 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.