A report by a housing charity says a critical mass of British families have been left struggling with housing costs as the country heads into its autumn statement.
The report from Shelter found that as many as two-thirds of British households could not afford to pay rent, with some living in ‘low-income’ homes.
It also found that nearly one-third of households had no savings and almost half had no income at all.
It said many families faced huge financial pressures, with just over half of households in the UK living in a household of under £40,000 a year.
The charity said that the report was the most comprehensive analysis of the housing crisis in the country to date.
“This is a critical time in the housing market,” Shelter chief executive Karen Lewis said.
“Our analysis shows that there is a growing critical mass, which is not just about London but across the country.”
It is clear that many families are facing a crisis of affordability.
“The government has failed to tackle the root causes of the crisis, including inadequate housing stock, high rents, inadequate support, poor planning, insufficient investment and inadequate enforcement of the laws.”
We can now see that the housing system is failing families, and that this has a real impact on the lives of millions of families.
“The charity has called on the government to tackle rising housing costs, saying the UK is “on the brink of a crisis” and that the current housing market “must be addressed urgently”.”
The UK is now on the brink, and in its final days before its autumn statements next year, we need to see more urgent action on housing affordability, not less,” Ms Lewis said in a statement.”
While housing markets across the UK have recovered in recent years, the problem is that the UK’s housing market is still not well resourced.
“If this is not tackled, the crisis will continue to grow.”
When we look at what is really causing the housing situation to worsen, we are faced with a critical shortage of housing, with families living in very low-income housing, and with few resources to pay the rent.
“What is needed is an immediate shift in the way the government manages the crisis.”
Ms Lewis said the government needs to do more to “address” the crisis by reducing the number of people in poverty, building more affordable housing and creating better support for people in temporary housing.
The Housing Commission said the crisis was affecting a significant number of families, with around 1.4 million households in England and Wales.
It found that while there were some positives to the situation, the Government needed to do a better job of providing the right support and supporting families and individuals through the process.
“There are significant challenges facing many of our most vulnerable families, particularly those with children, who face rising costs of living and are increasingly at risk of being homeless,” the commission said.
“There is also a significant shortage of affordable housing, as the Government has failed or is failing to deliver affordable housing schemes.”
Ms Evans said the Government had failed to meet its own target of building 300,000 affordable homes.
“In this crisis, the Tories have failed to deliver enough homes and it has failed the country’s poorest,” she said.