A place to call home

A place to call home

The way we live is changing. Home ownership is falling as house prices head ever on upwards.

  • since 2010 the number of under-45s owning their own home has fallen by 900,000
  • since 2007 the number of families with children living in private rented accommodation has risen by 20%
  • in 2016, the ONS reported that one in four young adults are still living with their parents

We call it a housing crisis, but it’s not a crisis about houses it’s about people’s lives. We all need somewhere secure and safe to call home. Somewhere we can build our lives, become part of a community and put down roots. We don’t have to own the house we live in, but the drop in home ownership is an important flag for what is an increasingly unsustainable situation that is affecting all aspects of our family lives, our communities and our economy.

The housing market is not working for more and more people and it is especially difficult for young people and lower income families. Last year, Citizens Advice New Forest published a report showing the many barriers people face in our area when renting somewhere to live.

Building a lot more homes is a crucial part of the solution. Labour have pledged to build a million new homes and crucially 100,000 of those per year will be council and housing association homes for genuinely affordable rent or sale.

But we also need to address issues faced by those who will still need, or want, to rent. We will make 3 year tenancies the norm to give renters more security, and will cap rent rises to inflation. We will also bring in minimum property standards so that everyone can have homes fit to live in.

We need to intervene in a market that has got out of control. When families are paying such a large percentage of their income on sky high rents, it’s not surprising that their living standards are being squeezed. Families with less money to spend on the high street are having a negative effect on our economy’s growth.

So we need a government committed to the bold action required to fix our broken housing market. For all our sakes. That government will be a Labour government.

Jo Graham