80% of people in Yorkshire and the Humber fear future generations will never have a ‘forever home’

Could 'Generation Rent' be left without stable, long-term accommodation?

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A staggering 80% of people in Yorkshire and the Humber fear it will be impossible for future generations to have a home to settle down in, new research by housing and homelessness charity Shelter reveals today.

The Ipsos MORI survey, commissioned by Shelter and British Gas as part of a new study into the meaning of home in Great Britain today, exposes alarming social trends caused by the current housing shortage.

Nationally the research showed that for recent generations, the chance to have a ‘forever home’ has been slipping increasingly out of reach. Worryingly, 74% of people in younger Generations X and Y said it is harder for them to get a home to settle down in than it was for their parents’ generation. This compares with only 44% of people born in the ‘Baby Boomer’ or Pre-War years.

A large majority of people who don’t currently live in a long-term home say they would like to, either now or in future, with most saying the key reason is to give them stability or to put down roots. However, the reality of life for the millions of young people and families who make up ‘generation rent’ is very different, with the research showing that 25-34 year olds in Britain today have moved more than twice as frequently per year of their lifetime as pensioners.

This new research marks the launch of Shelter’s Great Home Debate. In its 50th year of striving to end bad housing and homelessness, Shelter, with support from British Gas, wants to have the country’s biggest ever conversation about the meaning of home. It will use people’s views from the Great Home Debate to shape new standards for homes in the 21st century.

Cambell Robb, Shelter's Chief Executive

Cambell Robb, Shelter’s Chief Executive

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: “The fact that vast numbers of people fear their grandchildren

will never have a home to put down roots in, highlights the sad truth that this country is once again at the mercy of a housing crisis.

“While we have made progress over the last 50 years, our current housing shortage means millions are facing a lifetime of instability and, understandably, people are giving up hope. But if our history tells us anything, it’s that together we can make things change.

“For the sake of future generations we cannot make this crisis someone else’s problem. We’re urging the nation to tell us what they really need from a home – so we can better help those who aren’t lucky enough to have one. At Shelter we won’t stop until we all have a place to call home.”

Anyone can join the nation’s Great Home Debate by visiting www.greathomedebate.org.uk and sharing their thoughts on the meaning of home in Britain today.

Bryan Halliday, Head of Corporate Citizenship at British Gas, said: “Through our ongoing partnership with Shelter we’ve already helped to improve living standards for thousands of families. This debate will help us to understand how we can help more people in the future to have a safe, warm and stable place to call home.”

Case Study
Brenda was raised in poor privately rented housing in the sixties and went through a period of homelessness. As a young married adult she bought her own home and raised a family but, following a divorce, now finds herself back in unstable private renting.

Brenda says: “We’ve come full circle. There was a shortage of housing in the 1960s, and we’re facing the same problem again now. Houses are unaffordable, the number of homeless people is rising, and landlords can throw you out at short notice.

“When we bought our house it was like a dream. It felt almost like we’d started our journey in life because we owned a piece of land with a house on it and nobody could throw us out. You’ve got local schools and shops nearby, people know where you live, you become part of the community – and that’s what makes it a home.

“Sadly, I don’t think the future looks good for my daughter and my granddaughter when it comes to having their own home, unless somehow I can afford to help out.”

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