Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Housing costs may leave empty nest syndrome in the past

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation
David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation

Almost two million young working adults in the UK are still living with mum and dad, research from housing charity Shelter has shown. The charity says almost half of 20-to-34-year-olds who live with parents put the blame on being unable to afford to rent or buy a home.

That can be a problem for both parents – who want to get on with their lives – and their children who have grown to be young adults and who desperately seek their independence.

The worst-hit areas where around two out of five 20-34 year olds live with parents are Castle Point in Essex, Knowsley in Merseyside and Solihull.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: "With the crippling cost of housing leaving young adults trapped in their childhood bedrooms no matter how hard they save, empty nest syndrome could become a thing of the past."

Is there a solution? Shelter is calling on all political parties to commit to plans that will build more affordable homes.

Mr Robb says: "The government knows that the only way to turn the tide of the housing shortage is to fill the gap between the homes we have and the homes we need. Rather than pumping more money into schemes like Help to Buy, we need bolder action that will meet the demand for affordable homes and not inflate prices further.

"From helping small local builders find the finance they need, to investing in a new generation of part-rent, part-buy homes, the solutions to our housing shortage are there for the taking. Politicians of all parties must now put stable homes for the next generation at the top of the agenda."

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, agrees. He said: "Sadly these findings are symptomatic of the acute housing crisis in this country, which could be solved within a generation if we build more homes. Unless we see more of the right homes at the right prices in the right areas, adult children will continue to be stuck in their childhood bedrooms."

One solution is buying a home with others, points out Andrew Boast, co-founder of shareamortgage.com.

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