It is well known that there is an undersupply of housing in the UK. Despite being one of the richest countries in the world, we are failing to provide enough homes for our people. The social impact of this - particularly on young people - is less well known. Faced with high levels of youth unemployment, stagnant wages and tuition fees, this generation of young people face different challenges to their parents. The clear message from our research - which includes a survey of young people and intergenerational interviews with young people and their parents - was that the undersupply of housing is holding young people back.
There has been much public debate about the economic side of the housing story, but this research draws fresh attention to the social dimension. In particular, it shows how housing undersupply - in combination with a number of other social, economic and cultural forces - is having a real and substantial effect on the lived experience and future aspirations of young people.
This report provides a number of potential policy responses. Primary among these is the need to build more homes, although this is not a sufficient solution. New ideas to create pathways towards homeownership for young people are needed as well, as are reforms to the private rented sector, in which more and more young people find themselves for an extended phase of their lives.
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