Big Issue Vendor

Almost two million people put off having kids because of the housing crisis

The Affordable Housing Commission’s survey uncovered how a shortage of homes is disrupting family life

Couples are shelving their plans to have kids as a result of the housing crisis.

Those were the findings of YouGov and the Affordable Housing Commission’s survey of 2,000 British adults which uncovered how the shortage of homes in the country is blighting progress for millions.

Of the adults polled, 13 per cent of adults under the age of 45 and in a couple said they had been forced to delay having children or opted not to start a family altogether because of their housing situation.

Nearly a third of parents with adult children living at home didn’t expect their kids to move out within 10 years, which the Commission say amounts to 2.4 million people nationally.

And a quarter of those surveyed – or two million people – who are currently living in unaffordable housing said that their housing situation was having a detrimental effect on their mental health.


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“The housing system is hindering, not helping, millions of people – particularly those who are putting off big life decisions because of it,” said Commission chair Lord Richard Best.

“Unaffordable housing, especially in the private rented sector, is now a serious strain on people’s mental health and a barrier to having a better life. We need a fundamental rethink and structural change to rebalance it and ensure it works now and for future generations.”

The Commission, which was set up by think tank The Smith Institute is set to publish recommendations on how to tackle the housing affordability crisis in March 2020.

The UK Government has pledged to build 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s while housing charity Shelter has led calls for 3.1 million homes to be built in the next two decades to ease the crisis. Their Social Housing Commission urged the Government to double down on social homes to bring down waiting lists around the country and stop people turning to unaffordable private rents instead.

Image: Flickr/Alex Liivet