A report for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation carried out by WISERD researchers and members of the WISERD housing thematic network in the School of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University has revealed that increasing numbers of young people are going to be forced into the private rented sector over the coming decade if they want or have to move out of the family home.
The report entitled “Housing options and solutions for young people in 2020” aimed at providing a comprehensive picture of young people’s housing options today and in 2020 in order inform academics, policy makers and practitioners on the key housing issues affecting this group. The analysis used 10 waves of the British Household Panel Survey together with the Labour Force Survey and ONS population estimates to provide statistical evidence for the ways in which young people’s housing choices have changed over the past decade and are likely to change in the coming decade. The analysis was supported and further developed using interviews with over 100 young people and key stakeholders who then put forward possible policy responses to the emerging challenges. Notably, many elements of housing policy are devolved functions to the Assemblies in Belfast and Cardiff, and the parliament in Edinburgh, so the direction and details of policy and practice will differ between the parts of the UK. These responses, and feedback from the young people, were synthesized with the statistical analysis to produce a distillation of the key challenges facing young people in 2020 and possible policy solutions.
The key findings are that a round 1.5 million more young people aged 18–30 will be pushed towards living in the private rented sector in 2020, reflecting growing problems of accessing both home ownership and social renting. Without a sustained and long-term increase in new housing supply, demand-side initiatives to help aspiring home-owners risk maintaining the inflated house prices they are meant to overcome. Three groups of young people are increasingly marginalised in the UK housing system: young families, those on low incomes and those who are vulnerable due to their support needs. A renewed focus is needed on improving the supply, quality and stability of housing in both the private and social rented sectors. More stable private rented tenancies might be achieved through smarter incentives for landlords. International evidence suggests that these could include tax breaks in return for more stable, longer term tenancies for vulnerable or lower income tenants and/or other benefits such as lower rent levels. Social landlords could help tackle the challenges facing young people by helping them to access private rented tenancies and offering more shared tenancy options at local housing allowance rent levels as part of a varied housing offer. Without fundamental reform to the housing system to create suitable options, young people in 2020 will be increasingly marginalised in a badly functioning housing system.
Challenging times: The position of young people in the 2020 UK housing market
- The number of young people owning their own properties in 2020 is expected to decrease by approximately 1.1 million to 1.3 million in 2020. The number of young people living with parents in owner-occupied accommodation will increase by approximately 550,000 to 3.7 million in 2020.
- The number of young people living in their own private rented sector (PRS) tenancies in 2020 is predicted to increase by approximately 1.3 million to 3.7 million. It is likely that a three-tier model of demand will emerge based upon the median incomes of young households. The number of young people living with parents in private rented accommodation will increase by approximately 170,000 to 400,000 in 2020.
- The number of young people living in their own social rented tenancies in 2020 is predicted to decrease by approximately 360,000 to 780,000. The number of young people living with parents in social rented accommodation will increase by approximately 170,000 to 870,000.
- The number of young people aged 18–24 following a chaotic housing pathway (including homelessness) will increase from 75,000 to 81,000 between 2008 and 2020.
The full report can be found here.
For more information on the Young People and Housing project, please visit the project page.