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Research reveals housing difficulties faced by ‘Generation Rent’

Image by Claire Jones-Hughes from Pixabay

Young people today are facing greater housing difficulties than previous generations, new research has found.

A new report by the youth homelessness charity Centrepoint has found that young people are increasingly reliant on the private rental sector, where they face higher housing costs despite relying on more precarious incomes.

The report is based on a poll of almost 1700 adults aged between 18 to 69, covering five generations from those who came of age in the 1970s to young people today.

Centrepoint CEO Seyi Obakin said: ‘Our research shows that in the fifty years since Centrepoint was founded, it has become much, much more difficult for young people to leave home and live independently.

‘The high cost of housing, increased reliance on the private rented sector and the need to depend on multiple sources of income are challenges all young people in the UK face.’

Due to a decline in social housing, almost half of young people today (46%) now move into private rented accommodation when they first move home, compared to 25% of people who are now in their sixties.

This leaves them facing higher housing costs and lower security of tenure, while incomes and benefit rates have not kept pace with rising rents, the report found.

With 23% of ‘Generation Rent’ now not earning enough to cover their housing costs, young adults are increasingly reliant on their family for financial support and housing.

20% of young people reported having their rent being paid by someone else compared to 1% 50 years ago, while the proportion of young people moving back into their family home after first moving out has doubled to 48%.

The report also highlights the profound effect the UK’s housing crisis is having on the development of younger generations, with more young people growing up in the private rented sector and fewer in the social renting sector compared to 50 years prior.

Obakin said that the challenges facing ‘Generation Rent’ now can be ‘insurmountable’ for young people who for whatever reason are unable to move back home.

‘We all want to live in a society that opens doors for the next generation, rather than forcing them onto the street,’ Obakin added.

Centrepoint’s report adds to a growing catalogue of reports by homelessness charities accentuating the extent of the UK’s housing crisis.

Last week, a report by Crisis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that benefit cuts and freezes are hitting low-income households’ abilities to meet their living costs, leaving local authorities with a growing demand for their homelessness services.

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