More people now rent privately than from the council

Figures recently released by the government show that more tenants now rent a property in the private sector than from their local council or housing association. The number of new homes that are being built by local authorities and the fact that so many council owned properties have been sold off has been blamed for the change with many experts calling for more accommodation to be built for young struggling families.

With fewer homes to rent from housing associations tenants now have no option but to turn to private landlords. The demand for private rented accommodation is at an all time high and so are private rents. Soaring house prices are now taking home-ownership out of the reach of most many working families. Recent data shows that home ownership is now at it’s lowest since records began as more people look to rent instead on buy a home.

Government under pressure to build more homes

There have been many calls for the government to build more social housing to help house families but so far the government has not been able to build anything like the number of new homes that is required. The number of people in social housing has dropped over the last 30 years. In 1980 the proportion of people in social housing has dropped by almost a third to one in seven. Many tenants in the social sector still require help paying their rent and claim housing benefit.

This number is also on the increase with 32% of tenants in social housing claiming housing benefit. 12% of workers in private rented accommodation also claim housing benefit. The figures may be indicative of slow wages growth and the fact that wages have not kept up with increasing rents. It is hope that the economic recovery will increase wages growth and keep up with rising rents.

The government has said that it is trying to get Britain building again with a £1bn fund that has been set up called the Build To Rent Scheme. The scheme is designed to encourage developers and housebuilders to build homes to rent and not to sell. The government has also said that it has delivered 420,000 new homes since 2010 and is doing everything it can to get more houses out of the ground. It will be a slow process as we are starting from a low base because of the financial crisis.