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Demand outstripping supply

According to a study conducted by Professor Glen Bramley of Heriot-Watt University for the National Housing Federation (NHF), 90,000 additional social housing properties per year are required over a 15-year period to meet the current demand for accommodation. In a similar study, Shelter’s Commission on the future of social housing called for 3.1 million new social homes over a 20-year period, an average of 155,000 per year. While the UK Government has made clear its position on improving the provision of suitable homes for adults with learning disabilities, there is a significant funding gap which cannot be met by the public sector alone.


8.5 million people in England have some form of unmet housing need, and 1.6 million families in need of social housing.


For more than 4.2 million people, social rented housing is the most appropriate tenure. This equates to 1.6 million households.


More than 1.9 million households are hosting a ‘concealed’ household – for example, adult children still living with their parents.


Households are homeless or living in unsatisfactory housing conditions

1 in 200

People are without a home

1 in 9

Children live in overcrowded homes

"Today we are feeling the effects of 40 years of failure in housing policy. This crisis has seen a catastrophic decline in social housing, leaving millions in insecure and unaffordable rented homes – with home ownership an impossible dream, and increasing numbers of people tipped into homelessness."

Shelter UK – Building for our future: A vision for social housing

A sustained health problem within the UK continues to increase demand.

In order to reach the Government’s target of 300,000 new homes per year, annual net supply would need to reach levels 39% higher than in 2020/21. To reach the 340,000 called for by Crisis and the NHF, the increase would need to be 57%.

The level of required funding to build the number of social homes needed is £12.8 billion per year, but savings in Housing Benefit and land value reform could reduce the overall cost.

Source: Tackling the under-supply of housing – House of Commons 2022

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