Housing and hire – how era feels it was ‘offered a lie’ | EUROtoday

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By Dave Harvey, Business and setting correspondent, BBC Points West

BBC Sharon Cove standing outside a homeBBC

Sharon Cove needs motion to assist younger individuals to get on the housing ladder

Housing and rental costs are key points for voters on the normal election – and one which a number of have gotten involved with us about.

Bristol, for instance, is the most costly place to hire outdoors of London and the issue is resulting in extra individuals having to search out various lodging.

Sharon Cove is among the many many individuals who obtained in contact with the BBC by way of Your Voice, Your Vote and advised us about her son’s scenario.

“I just feel so sorry for the young people that don’t have it as good as I did,” she says.

Like most parents, Sharon wants the best for her son. But at 31, Dan has had to move back in with mum and dad.

He runs a small business, a record shop in Bristol selling successfully to music lovers. He can afford the rent on the shop, but not the rent on a flat as well.

“The price of private rentals is huge,” Sharon complains. She says it makes it not possible for younger individuals to maneuver on, including the problem is them “not being able to get on the housing ladder, the massive deposits they need to save up”.

Your Voice, Your Vote graphic

Her son is far from alone. Recent official statistics found that 40% of people aged 16-34 are now living with their parents, 6.7 million people in all.

Bristol is the most expensive place to rent in the UK outside London, according to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics.

PA Media Bristol skylinePA Average

Bristol has the highest rent prices outside London anywhere in the UK

The average rent in the city rose 9% to £1,734 a month in February 2024.

The housing crisis has become her number one issue in this election. Not for her generation, but her son’s.

“I think they were sold a lie. I think they were sold go to school, work hard, go to uni, get a good job and life will be good for you,” she says.

“And it just isn’t – not for them right now.”

Shôn Douglas sitting in a lounge

Cheltenham rents have “spiralled out of control”, says Shôn Douglas

Shôn Douglas is battling the identical downside, 40 miles up the motorway.

The 39-year-old rents a flat in Cheltenham, the place he says costs have “spiralled out of control”.

He was one in every of dozens of people that contacted us utilizing our Your Voice, Your Vote characteristic. We requested individuals what matter issues most on this election, and lots of advised us housing is just not getting sufficient consideration

Mr Douglas has a very good job, however can solely afford a small one-bedroom flat.

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Landlords, he says, “are asking for eye-watering rents for even studio apartments”.

For him, there is a clear political solution: rental reform.

The last government tabled legislation to regulate the rental market, including outlawing so-called “no-fault” evictionshowever the invoice died when the election was referred to as.

Several parties are now promising similar policies in their manifestos.

But whoever wins, Mr Douglas says: “It just needs to get done, the inertia is frustrating, they just need to get on with it.”

  Pete Lyndon

“I’ve seen homelessness up shut”, says Pete Lyndon

Housing, or the lack of it, is not invisible in this election.

All the political parties address it in their manifestos, but it is some way down the list.

Former social worker Pete Lyndon thinks housing should be in the top three, saying it is a “key subject”.

“I think it’s up there with national health service, with the cost of living,” he adds.

For decades, Mr Lyndon worked as a social worker, often helping people struggling with homelessness.

“I’ve seen it first hand. I’ve seen people in housing that’s unfit for human habitation, water running down the walls,” he says.

Van dwellers in Bristol

Van dwellers have quadrupled in Bristol since 2020

In Bristol, the place he has now retired, there are 800 individuals dwelling in vansmany with out fundamental services.

The metropolis ranks third within the UK for individuals dwelling tough on the streets.

“At the last count, 80 people were counted on the street – and that’s the ones they could find,” he says.

He accepts that housing is a massively complicated downside.

Mortgages are linked to rates of interest and the financial markets.

Council-owned housing depends on the funds of native councils, at present in dire straits.

But, the 74-year-old remembers, the nation has managed to construct in robust occasions earlier than.

He says: “After World War Two, as a country, we were extremely hard up, and yet governments of both colours did manage to build housing for ordinary people.

“It is possible, if it’s seen as a serious enough issue.”

‘Massive issues’

Both the Conservatives and Labour are pledging to build 1.5 million new homes over the next parliament, equating to 300,000 a year.

That is at least 100,000 more than has been achieved in recent years.

The Liberal Democrats want whole new garden cities built.

The Green Party add to that ambition, insisting they will build 150,000 new social homes, owned by councils or housing associations.

But not everyone is a fan of new housing estates.

Green belt land near Bristol

Plans to build 4,000 new homes on green fields near Bristol have infuriated locals

On the eastern fringe of Bristol, residents have been fighting plans by the local council to build 4,000 new homes on green fields.

Martin Roberts is angry at this local plan.

“Bristol is a big successful economic hub,” he says.

“I can understand why people want to come and live here.

“But is that a good reason for building on our green belt? I don’t think it is.”

Martin Roberts standing in field

Martin Roberts worries that extra properties will likely be constructed on the inexperienced belt

The retired accountant now lives in a small, quiet hamlet, only a mile from the east Bristol ring street. He accepts that “something” have to be completed.

“Housing has got massive problems in this country with people struggling to buy,” he says.

“Prices are constantly going up, rents are constantly going up.”

But like many in his rural space, he worries that it can not take a sudden inflow of individuals.

“We have no infrastructure, the northern fringe has the M4, the M5, Bristol Parkway station,” he adds.

“We have nothing – a couple of A-roads and a ring road that is mostly a car park.

“If you add thousands and thousands of extra homes on our doorstep, everything is going to grind to a halt.”

Policies and pledges

The Conservatives would construct 300,000 properties a yr, prioritising brownfield growth. They would completely waive stamp obligation tax for first-time patrons of properties costing as much as £425,000. This threshold was raised quickly and is because of revert to £300,000 in March 2025. They have additionally proposed a brand new Help to Buy scheme.

Labour would reform planning guidelines, fast-forward growth on brownfield and what it calls “grey belt” land equivalent to automobile parks. The celebration has pledged 1.5 million new properties over 5 years. It needs to increase an present scheme, which helps individuals get a mortgage with a smaller deposit and is backing extra rights for renters.

The Liberal Democrats need extra social housing and new “garden cities”. They assist native authorities that wish to finish the “right to buy” coverage for council housing, ban no-fault evictions, make three-year tenancies the default, and create a nationwide register of licensed landlords.

The Green Party would spend money on new social housing, pledging to construct 150,000 “affordable social homes”. They would ban no-fault evictions and introduce hire controls. They would set larger environmental requirements for brand spanking new builds and would require extra reasonably priced items.

Reform would fast-track planning, supply tax incentives for growth on brownfield websites and provides tax breaks to small-scale landlords. People born within the UK can be given precedence for social housing.

What actually issues to you on this normal election? What is the one subject that may affect your vote? Click the button beneath to submit your concept, and it may very well be featured on the BBC.