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Ed Mead: A joint approach is needed to combat the housing crisis

16.01.18

There are well over 20m mortgages out there in the UK – it’s a huge market. But according to Shelter, there are almost 1.8m households on the waiting list for accommodation and sometimes when worrying about the terms of a mortgage it’s worth remembering that there are many not as fortunate.

We’d all like to see less obvious evidence of homelessness, it’s easy to look away, but of course what you see in your daily life is a fraction of what’s out there. Issues require long-term solutions, and the short-term nature of our political system, i.e. where politicians can often abandon laudable plans halfway through their execution when an Election looms, doesn’t help.

We all know that rapidly escalating house prices help very few, value locked up in housing tends to be illiquid but has a feel-good factor, but when you read about relentless house price rises it’s worth remembering that large areas of the UK still enjoy house prices that are still below their 2007 peaks. So it’s not just escalating prices. Homelessness can result from relationship break up, job loss, unexpected end of PRS tenancies etc and most of probably know someone who is sofa surfing whilst looking for a job.

I just reckon that when talking to anyone about the issue, everyone stays away from party political rubbish – this requires a joint approach in combination with other industry advice and is not going to be fixed overnight.