The government must build three million houses to solve the social housing crisis.
That is according to a new report – written in the aftermath of the Grenfell disaster – that brought together 16 independent commissioners from across the political spectrum.
Called Building our future: a vision of social housing , the Shelter report urges ministers to invest in a large 20-year housing program and to expand the criteria for those who live in social housing.
It recommends to build 1.27 million houses for "those who have the greatest need for housing", including homeless households, the disabled and the long-term sick, or people living in very poor conditions.
It also wants the government to build 1.17 million houses for what they call "embedded tenants", younger families who are unable to get on the housing ladder, and 690,000 homes for older private tenants who, after retirement, are insecure in the houses are facing.
The better news for those in power is that it can save them money compared to their current plans.
"I would probably be able to buy"
The report showed that the current system of subsidizing starters with schemes such as Help-to-Buy is less effective than building rented houses.
Especially at a time when research with Capital Economics shows that half of the young people have no chance of ever buying a house and private tenants with lower incomes spend on average 67% of their income on rent.
Take mum from two Lucie (see above).
Lucie, 30, works full-time as a welfare worker for a good cause. At the moment she is renting privately with her two children aged 11 and 6 years old.
"I really feel that if I had social housing and I had been able to live somewhere affordable for the past ten years, I think I'm probably in a position where I could buy my own property, and that would be a social home can go back to someone else who needs it, "she said.
It has become worse thanks to multiple moves – with all associated costs.
"Because I had to move so often and the rents were so high, the financial consequences were devastating, it just was not possible for me to save the money, but that little bit of stability for me and my children would have made a big difference. "
Arrangements to help The first time buyers step on the ladder
The houses that we need
The report recommends to build the following number of homes to counter the current shortages:
1.27 million homes for people with the greatest housing needs: homeless households, people with disabilities or long-term illness, or in very poor conditions.
1.17 million houses for enclosed tenants & # 39; – younger families who can not afford to buy and buy for a lifetime in expensive and uncertain private rent.
690,000 homes for older private tenants – people over 55 who struggle with high housing costs and insecurity after retirement.
The people who call
The authors of the report, including ex-Labor leader Ed Miliband, ex-Tory president Baroness Warsi, the mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, Baroness Lawrence, TV architect George Clarke and Grenfell survivor, Ed Daffarn, spoke a for years with hundreds of social partners. tenants, more than 30,000 members of the public and accommodation experts.
Their findings suggest that it would require an average annual investment of £ 10.7 billion to pay the new homes, but analysis by economic experts suggests that up to two-thirds of this could be recouped through "rent subsidy savings and higher tax revenue per year".
The charity says on this basis that the actual net extra costs for the government in the 20-year period are about £ 3.8 billion per year.
About the Baroness Warsi report said: "Social mobility has been decimated by decades of political failure to address our deteriorating housing crisis.
"Our vision of social housing offers an essential political opportunity to reverse this decline, providing a stable home for millions of people, providing much-needed security and a step forward for young families trying to move forward in life. and saving for their future. "
"We have to act now"
And Miliband said: "The time for the government to act is now, we have never felt so divided as a nation, but building social housing is a priority for people throughout our country.
"This is a moment for political daring for investments in social housing that we have not seen for generations.
"It is the way to restore hope, build strong communities and restore the broken housing market so that we meet both the needs and ambitions of millions of people."
Other suggestions in the report, which will be presented to Prime Minister Theresa May and Labor Director Jeremy Corbyn on Tuesday, include creating a consumer regulator in Ofsted style to protect residents in social housing and private rental, a new national tenant voting organization and improved national standards for the maintenance of public housing.