Housing Specification Blog

High housing costs deter couples from starting a family

August 29, 2012 Alexandra Blakeman Housing Issues

High housing costs are deterring couples from starting families, says a new report from YouGov and Shelter. Londoners are most affected, with a quarter of 31 – 44 year olds delaying having children because of expensive housing options. The figure is 20% nationally.

20% of couples aged 31-44 say they’re unable to start a family because they can’t afford a suitable home. Click on image for original source.

Housing charity Shelter have warned that an entire generation could be held back thanks to a desperate shortage of affordable housing.

Speaking for the Independent, Kay Boycott, Director of Communications, Policy and Campaigns at Shelter, said: “It’s heartbreaking that so many people are being forced to put their lives on hold in this way. The Government has a responsibility to act now to ensure that today’s young people and the generation after them aren’t denied something as basic as a proper home to raise their children in.”

The housing crisis could have a profound effect on the growth and development of future families. Despite working long and hard hours, a proportion of people aged 31 – 44 are still unable to afford a mortgage. We all hope that when we come to raise a family, we’re able to do so in a stable and secure home environment.

Families in rented accommodation risk sudden eviction and increased rental costs. This simply isn’t an ideal environment in which to raise children.  According to the BBC, the average house price in London in eight times higher than the average income. No wonder we’ve got a problem on our hands.

Once young families are in a position to purchase a home, we could see more and more parents working full time as soon as the baby is born, just to keep a roof over their heads. For some, leaving things too late could mean that they’re not able to have children at all.

An increasing number of couples are making the decision to move in with relatives to save for a house deposit. With high rents and utility bills to pay, saving for a house and a family is difficult for the average earner in today’s climate.

Shelter are campaigning for the government to take “radical action” against the problem. It’s feared that the social side effects of the current housing crisis will have a knock-on effect for generations to come.

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