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UK Insights

Affordable housing a top priority for the British public

Grant Fitzner

Former CEO

Policy 22.02.2018 / 06:00


Homelessness and increasing the number of social homes also seen as important issues for the government to address.

Affordable housing is now considered one of the most important measures to improve public life in the UK, the latest Kantar Public Opinion Monitor reveals today.

Almost a third (31%) of the British public now rank 'affordable housing' as one of their top three priorities, with only 'investing more in health care' scoring higher. Affordable housing was placed ahead of other issues such as crime (27%), social care (26%) and generating economic growth (25%) on the Kantar Public Policy Index.

KPUK - Issues 22 Feb 2018

When it comes to housing policy, there are three key areas the public think the government should prioritise: increasing the overall supply of affordable housing (32%), homelessness (31%) and increasing the number of social homes (27%).

The poll also revealed a deep dissatisfaction with private renting. Nearly one in three private renters (30%) stated they did not want themselves or their family to have to rent privately in the long-term, and yet many consider themselves to be stuck there. Over a quarter of private renters (27%) don’t think they will ever be able to afford to buy their own home, and over one in seven (15%) think it will take them more than ten years.  

Unsurprisingly, cost is the main barrier to private renters accessing home ownership, with 37% saying house prices was the biggest problem for them, and a third (33%) saying it was saving enough money for a deposit.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Given the scale of the housing crisis and sheer number of lives blighted by it, the public are calling for real action on homelessness and more social housing. Regardless of age, where they live, or who they vote for - the message is clear, buying is unaffordable and private renting is not fit for purpose in the long-term. People want and need an alternative.

“The government should abandon its dogged focus on home ownership, and instead invest in a large-scale housebuilding programme to radically boost the number of genuinely affordable homes to rent.”

Political debate in Britain is dominated by Brexit, but outside the Westminster bubble what people care most about are health and affordable housing. The outcome of the next General Election may well be determined by which political party best addresses those practical concerns of the British public.

Source : Kantar Public

Editor's Notes

UK Opinion Monitor data and details on the methodological approach will be available to download from 9am on Thursday 22 February from here.

2,448 interviews were conducted online among adults living in Great Britain between 6 and 12 February 2018. Interviews were conducted online using the Kantar TNS Research Express, which uses the Lightspeed access panel as its sample source.

The data was weighted to match population totals for age, gender, working status, 2017 General Election voting patterns, 2016 EU referendum voting patterns, education, region, and likelihood to vote in the next General Election. 

For more information, please contact us

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