An explosive and damning report has just been released by Migration Watch, an independent and non-political think tank, describing the extent of the UK’s housing crisis.
Put simply: there are too many people chasing too few homes.
In 2004 the Barker Review estimated that 240,000 homes needed to be built in the UK every single year to cope with demand. However, in the last 10 years, an average of just 170,000 new homes have been built. A House of Lords committee has now concluded that 300,000 new homes need to be built annually across the UK.
The last Government committed to building one million new homes across the UK by 2020, but this will be nowhere near enough. Just this week the Prime Minister stated that her Government recognises that for decades we have not been building enough homes and this is in part responsible for increasing house prices.
I welcome the Prime Minister’s pledge to build more homes, more quickly and I agree that it’s going to take a long time to fix our broken housing market. In the short term, more houses need to be built.
However, I can’t help but feel the Prime Minister and the Government have heeded Migration Watch’s latest report, nor will the Government be able to meet their ambitious target of building enough homes because these targets are based on old migration figures. In the upper echelons of policy-making there is still a fervent denial that mass uncontrolled immigration has been a major factor to this complex issue.
To meet overall demand, we need to be building one new home every two minutes. Official data shows that over the last 10 years 90% of the additional households created in England, were headed by a person born abroad and in London, every single additional household formed was headed by someone born overseas.
Immigration is a huge factor in the demand for housing and successive governments have not only woefully underestimated the huge pressure mass immigration has put on housing, they have completely denied that immigration is one of the biggest reasons we have a housing crisis.
The focus of the housing debate is still entirely on supply. Nobody dares talk about demand and its principle driver – immigration! That must stop!
Our housing crisis is having a huge impact on people’s lives.
High housing costs in many parts of the country take a large portion of people’s income. For some young people, the high cost of renting means that they have to spend longer living in house shares, or living with their parents. Young people are called “Generation Rent” as they may never have the opportunity to have a house to call their own.
Some people are forced to live in overcrowded conditions, or even move away from their local area so that they can find affordable accommodation.
The social housing sector is completely overwhelmed and most councils have very long waiting lists.
In the short term we need to build more homes.
In the long term we must have a sustainable strategy which tackles both supply and demand, and that means recognising that immigration is one of the major demands on our housing supply.
One of the main reasons people all over the country voted to leave the EU was because of mass, uncontrolled immigration.
As long as we are members of the EU’s Single Market we have to accept the freedom of movement of people and we are unable to control who comes to Britain.
Leaving the EU and membership of its Single Market means that we can finally control the quantity and quality of people coming to work, study and live in Britain.
Controlling immigration means that we can ensure that we have enough school places, hospital beds and homes for everybody.