The National Housing Federation’s report Home Truths has caught the imagination of the media this morning. Even the Daily Mail is shocked by the growing numbers of people in work who need housing benefit to pay for their homes, a key fact that undermines the Government’s normal line about housing benefit being spent on the workshy and people living in luxury homes. Good examples of coverage include the Telegraph and the BBC.
The report’s simple format – rehearsing key facts about housing – gets important points across very well. Although the story that has grabbed the interest is the huge increase in housing benefit claims amongst working people, other facts will bear endless repetition. For example:
- 1,837,042 households on housing register April 2011 England
- 50,290 households accepted as homeless 2011/12 England
- 50,430 households in temporary accommodation Q1 2012
- 72,876 private housing starts England 2011/12
- 43,164 housing association housing starts England 2011/12
- 1,830 councils housing starts England 2011/12
- 37% increase in private rents in last 5 years
- 11.1 – the ratio of average house prices to average earnings in England, ranging from 7.1 in the north east to 15.6 in London.
- £50,682 – the income needed for a 75% mortgage on an average home.
- 94% – the increase in house prices over the last decade (2001-2011) in England.
- 29% – the increase in earnings over the last decade in England.
- 86% – the increase in the number of people in work claiming housing benefit since 2009, an increase of 417,830.
NHF Chief Executive David Orr commented:
“The housing market is at the point of no return; with rising house prices, rising rents and millions of families really struggling to afford their home. It’s no surprise that one in 12 families in England is on the waiting list for social housing. Sadly the future is looking even bleaker.”
In addition to the report, the NHF website has more background information and references as well as resources such as an interactive map of private rents around the country.