January: tenants protest in London’s March for Homes
The new year brought housing inequality into sharp focus, especially in the capital. With homelessness rising, the average house price 16 times the average Londoner’s salary, five million people on housing waiting lists, and the social housing stock having fallen by 43,850 in 2013-14, tenants, trade unionists and housing campaigners marched on London City Hall on 31 January in protest.
Housing worker Glyn Robbins was among them. “The March for Homes will send the message that we can’t afford another five years of housing failure,” he wrote on the Housing Network.
February: nation of renters revealed by English housing survey
According to the government’s annual snapshot of the state of the country’s housing, more than 1.5 million families with children live in the private rented sector, almost triple the 566,000 families in a similar position in 2004. Nearly half of 25- to 34-year-olds rent their homes (59% of that age bracket were homeowners in 2004 compared with 36% in 2014). Rents were found to be rising faster than inflation.
Meanwhile, almost 20% of in-work renters rely on housing benefit to pay their rent – half a million more people than when the coalition came to power.
Read Article for rest of year