HOUSING: Reporter highlights crisis

HOUSING: Reporter highlights crisis
Alan Cole, Charity News Xperedon
16.09.13

UN Rapporteur’s assessment of housing crisis in UK chimes with charities campaigns…
UN housing expert’s summary of housing situation in the UK recalls longstanding appeals by housing charities…

 

Investigations in the UK by the United Nations Special Rapporteur confirm the need for investment in new affordable housing and the need for more support for people affected by a lack of housing and poor housing…

 

UN housing expert Raquel Rolnik’s visit to the UK has raised a number of issues that strike a chord with many of the campaigns and appeals run by housing charities in recent years, emphasising a lack of affordability for far too many people when it comes to accessing decent housing; as well as a housing shortage crisis…

 

United Nations Special Rapporteur Rolnik’s visit to the UK and survey of the housing situation delivered preliminary findings that highlighted “signs of retrogression in the enjoyment of the right to adequate housing.”

 

Her findings that housing deprivation is worsening in the UK come as no surprise to the thousands of people caught up in inadequate housing, or indeed those experiencing homelessness; or to the many campaigners for a fairer system and more affordable housing…

 

“Increasingly people appear to be facing difficulties to accessing adequate, affordable, well located and secure housing… says Rolnik.

 

“The numbers of people on waiting lists for social housing have risen with reports indicating waits of several years to obtain a suitable house…”

 

The crisis is one that has been building in recent years with Government data backing up housing charities reports that homelessness has been on the rise as well.

 

The numbers of homeless families in emergency bed and breakfast accommodation is at a decade long high, says housing charity Shelter…

 

2,090 homeless families in England have ended up in bed and breakfast accommodation this year after losing their homes…

 

That’s an eight per cent rise on the previous year and is the highest rise since 2003.

 

The numbers of homeless also grew by 5 per cent to 13,460 in the same period…

 

Government data from April to June this year also shows 3,580 households were made homeless due to their private tenancy ending…

 

That’s an increase of 32 per cent on the previous year, a problem highlighted by the housing charity Crisis…

 

The UN reporter’s statement following her visit this month drew attention to the reality of a housing shortage in the UK and a disconnect between supply and demand…

 

Her investigation also places the spotlight on the human cost of failed housing infrastructure, and longstanding inadequate policies…

 

Her findings draw on estimates that while 220,000 new homes are currently needed in England each year, less than half of this number is being built…

 

Issues include insufficient financing and also planning constraints leading to lack of available land for new houses, obstacles well documented by non-profit organisations campaigning in this area…

 

Charity housing campaigners want to see more policies that lead to more affordable quality housing being built, especially in the social rented housing sector; better regulation of the private rented sector; and more support for the homeless and for people struggling to find adequate affordable housing, or maintain their foot on the housing ladder…