Affordable Housing Crisis
There is an increasing number of people struggling to find affordable and enough housing options (Geraghty, 2022). Affordable housing has become one of the significant issues in the United Kingdom. Several factors contribute to this, including an expanding population, high housing demand, and a lack of available housing (Booth, 2022). As a result, the housing market is becoming increasingly unaffordable, with many people struggling to meet their basic housing needs.
The UK government recognises how important it is to address the affordable housing crisis. Therefore they introduced, the Affordable Homes Program which provides funding to support the construction of new affordable homes (National Housing Federation, 2021). Another was the Help to Buy scheme, which offers financial assistance for first-time buyers (Government Digital Service, 2011).
Despite these efforts, the affordable housing crisis has worsened. Many experts argue that more needs to be done in order to address the root causes of the problem (British Politics and Policy at LSE, 2017). One of the significant issues affecting UK affordable housing is the policies that are in place (British Politics and Policy at LSE, 2022). The high cost of land and construction, which enables developers to avoid constructing affordable homes, is another problem. (New Economics Foundation, 2022).
Figure 2: how developers reduce the number of affordable homes to make their projects more viable (Grayston, 2017)
Some experts have suggested that the government encourage the development of more affordable housing by offering tax breaks (Rics.org, 2021). Initiative for developers to build affordable homes and make it easier for developers to obtain land for housing development. Another solution to the affordable housing crisis is to increase the supply of social housing. Where housing is provided at a lower cost than market-rate housing by the government or non-profit organisations. The UK government has committed to increasing the social housing supply but many experts argue that this will not be enough to meet rising demand (LSE Review of Books, 2015).
Many cities like London, Cambridge and Oxford have adopted inclusionary zoning policies that require developers to include a certain number of affordable housing units in new developments. Other cities have included rent control policies which limit the amount of rent that landlords can charge. Thus keeping housing costs affordable for low-income renters.
UK’s affordable housing crisis is complex and requires many solutions. Even though the government has made some progress in addressing these problems, much more needs to be done. This includes encouraging the development of more affordable housing, increasing the supply of social housing, and implementing other initiatives that can help make housing more affordable.
Grayston, R. (2017). The high cost of viability assessments: 2,500 affordable homes lost in just one year | Shelter. [online] Shelter. Available at: https://blog.shelter.org.uk/2017/11/the-high-cost-of-viability-assessments-2500-affordable-homes-lost-in-just-one-year/ [Accessed 14 Mar. 2023].
Geraghty, L. (2022). Affordable housing is in short supply – here’s what other countries are doing about it. [online] The Big Issue. Available at: https://www.bigissue.com/news/housing/affordable-housing-is-in-short-supply-heres-what-other-countries-are-doing-about-it/ [Accessed 14 Mar. 2023].
Booth, R. (2022). England’s affordable housing scheme falls 32,000 homes short of target. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/dec/07/englands-affordable-housing-scheme-falls-32000-homes-short-of-target [Accessed 14 Mar. 2023].
National Housing Federation. (2021). Affordable Homes Programme 2021-26. [online] Available at: https://www.housing.org.uk/our-work/building-new-homes/AHP-2021-26/ [Accessed 14 Mar. 2023].
Government Digital Service (2011). Affordable home ownership schemes. [online] GOV.UK. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/affordable-home-ownership-schemes [Accessed 14 Mar. 2023].
British Politics and Policy at LSE. (2017). How to increase affordable housing: six innovative options. [online] Available at: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/increasing-affordable-housing-six-innovative-solutions/ [Accessed 14 Mar. 2023].
British Politics and Policy at LSE. (2022). Why is it so difficult to tackle the lack of affordable housing? [online] Available at: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/why-is-it-so-difficult-to-tackle-the-lack-of-affordable-housing/#:~:text=The%20main%20underlying%20cause%20for,and%20man%2Dmade%20regulatory%20ones. [Accessed 14 Mar. 2023].
Rics.org. (2021). Cut VAT to stimulate economic growth and create greener homes. [online] Available at: https://www.rics.org/news-insights/cut-vat-to-stimulate-economic-growth-and-create-greener-homes [Accessed 14 Mar. 2023].
New Economics Foundation. (2022). How private developers get out of building affordable housing. [online] Available at: https://neweconomics.org/2022/02/how-private-developers-get-out-of-building-affordable-housing [Accessed 14 Mar. 2023].
LSE Review of Books. (2015). Book Review: Housing: Where’s the plan? by Kate Barker. [online] Available at: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsereviewofbooks/2015/02/02/book-review-housing-wheres-the-plan-by-kate-barker/ [Accessed 14 Mar. 2023].