19th June 2015
The levels of home ownership have fallen for the first time in a century, figures from the Office of National Statistics shows.
The latest number from the ONS reveal that between 2001 and 2011 the number of households that were owner occupied dropped from 69% to 64%, or 15 million households.
In that same period the private rental sector has expanded from 31% of households to 36% over the same period.
Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, said the figured proved that housing policy was too low on the government agenda and criticised the extension of Margaret Thatcher’s Right to Buy policy, that will see social housing stock dwindle further.
‘We now have the most expensive and dysfunctional housing system in Europe, with millions of people living in often sub-standard private rented accommodation,’ said O’Grady.
‘A generation of young people face the prospect of never owning their own home. There are no longer any areas in the South of England where average house prices are less than five times the average wage.’
She said Right to Buy is ‘not the way to deal with Britain’s housing crisis’ and the government should be funding more house building not selling off existing affordable homes.
‘With the government able to borrow at rock bottom rates, it needs to get out its cheque books an start building,’ she said.
‘Investing in house building will pay for itself and generate thousands of jobs and apprenticeships.’
Figures show that in 2011, 5% of households in London or 1.1 million homes were classed as overcrowded, rising to 25.2% in the borough of Newham.