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Affordable Housing Commission issues call for evidence to fix ‘broken’ housing market

The Affordable Housing Commission (AHC) is issuing a call for evidence around the current housing crisis.

The commission, which is chaired by Lord Best, is calling upon organisations and individuals to submit evidence that will lead to policy changes that help renters and those who want to get on the housing ladder.

AHC’s recent focus groups revealed first-time buyers and struggling renters think that the private rental sector is ‘broken’ and in need of radical change and many of those privately renting report they are currently paying 40% – 45% of their household income on rent.

Focus group attendees also reported saving for a deposit is a major barrier for would-be homeowners as it can often take over five years to raise the money needed for a deposit, which they say means a level of sacrifice that is unsustainable.

Earlier this week the Tenants Fee Bill was given Royal Assent. From June, landlords and letting agents will be banned from charging excessive administration fees or rental deposits that are more than five weeks rent.

The AHC, which is supported by the Nationwide Foundation and organised by the Smith Institute, was launched last year and is made up of 15 leading players from across the housing world.

Lord Richard Best, Chair of the Affordable Housing Commission, said: ‘We are all acutely aware of the problems caused by the shortages and cost of housing and are keen to hear a range of views on how these problems can be ended.

‘Although mindful of the practicalities and politics, we are hoping to bring together a small number of major policy initiatives which could make a dramatic difference.

‘We would greatly welcome your help in focusing our attention on the issues that matter most to you.’

Organisations and individuals should email views and suggestions to info@affordablehousingcommission.org. The deadline for submission and comments is April 4.

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