Report calls for private rented sector reform
An extra 1.5 million 18- to 30-year-olds will be forced into private renting in eight years’ time, according to a report out today.
Charity Joseph Rowntree Foundation claims in its research that a ‘three-tier’ system of people racing to find private rented accommodation will be created: those at the top able to pay, the ‘squeezed middle’ and 400,000 at the bottom who could well miss out on finding accommodation altogether.
The report, Housing options and solutions for young people in 2020, suggests the number of young people living with their parents into their 30s will rise half a million to 3.7 million in eight years.
Kathleen Kelly, programme manager for place at the JRF, said: ‘Our badly functioning housing system will see those on the lowest incomes really struggling to compete in the competitive rental market of 2020.
‘Renting is likely to be the only game in town and young people are facing fierce competition to secure a home in what is an already diminished supply of housing.’
David Clapham, lead author of the report, said strong political leadership was needed to work with landlords and tenants to make accommodation more affordable and stable for the upcoming ‘generation rent’.
‘Young people are at a double disadvantage – it takes longer to raise a deposit and their wages are generally lower,’ he said.
The report also says 310,000 more young families will be looking for private rented housing in 2020.
The authors call for more affordable rents and longer, more stable private rented tenancies, with tax breaks for landlords who offer such options.
They say there should be an expansion of local agencies to find private rented housing for young people, and call for measures to address the long-term undersupply of housing.
Shadow housing minister Jack Dromey said: ‘This research highlights the need not only to build many more homes but also the growing importance of the private rented sector and the need for it to cater for the ever increasing number of young families.
‘That’s why Labour is looking at ways to ensure the sector provides families with homes that are affordable, of a decent standard and stability of tenure.’