A new report launched by housing and planning charity the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), shows that there remains a serious housing shortage facing England.
New and novel household projections for England with a 2008 base, by Alan Holman with Christine Whitehead, is the first analysis of the 2008 based Communities and Local Government Department household figures.
These figures used a new methodology to assess household formation and reveal the different types of households that are emerging, the biggest innovation being that household types are now broken down by number of children. The analysis projects 234,000 additional households forming per year on top of the backlog of unmet housing needs.
Kate Henderson, TCPA chief executive said:
“We have published this paper as the housing and the planning system undergoes the most fundamental change for a generation through the Government’s localism agenda and welfare reform packages. This timely analysis reveals that the underlying demographic pressures for more and better homes has not receded. Our current building rates for new homes are clearly not adequate to meet this challenge. Therefore, Government must ensure that we find the mechanisms to deliver high quality, sustainable homes of all types and tenure and ensure a decent home for all.”
A stark finding of this research is the increase in number of lone parent households, including significant increases of these households with three or more children. This implies both the need for more family accommodation in the social sector (a higher proportion of lone-parent households with dependent children are social sector tenants than is the case with any other category of household) and increased demand for Housing Benefit from those lone-parents living in private rented accommodation (70% of lone parents who were private sector tenants paying rent received Housing Benefit).
Between 2006 and 2026, a total increase of households with children is projected – of about 700,000 in round terms. However, the number of couple households with children is projected to fall by 176,000, while the number of lone-parent households is projected to increase by 889,000. This is nearly 20% of the total increase in households in the period, 575,000 more than in the 2006-based projections and 615,000 more than in the 2004-based projections.
The paper also paints another scenario in parallel to the increase in lone parent households, that of more growth in households without children. Therefore suggesting the possibility of increased under-occupation, whilst simultaneously an increased demand in affordable family housing.