Home > Problems > Who Needs Affordable Housing?

Who Needs Affordable Housing?

By: Christine Whitfield BA (hons) - Updated: 16 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Affordability Affordable Housing Houses

There are plenty of things to consider when buying a house. How big does it need to be? Will it need planning permission for any future extensions? Will it have to have a front and rear garden? Does it have to have a separate dining room? But the most important thing to consider is the subject that is currently the topic of debate across the country and in Parliament – is it affordable?

There is currently a worrying lack of affordable housing in the UK and it is something the Government is being lobbied to address.

What is affordable housing?

Affordable housing is exactly that – houses which are affordable.Obviously affordability depends on the individual – it’s unlikely Madonna or Tom Cruise have to worry about affordable housing! But the term ‘affordable’ in the case of the ongoing debate refers to the affordability of the general population – the average earners.

In the US the general consensus on ‘affordable housing’ is the property should not cost more 30% of the total household earnings. This is obviously easier said than done though as the US has a similar affordable housing problem as the UK.

The UK does not have a figure or equation for what constitutes affordable housing. It is, however, widely accepted that there is a national shortage of housing that the general population can feasibly afford and this is not good enough.

The Government is trying to address the problem but it is not an easy task considering that not only is there a lack of affordable housing in the UK, there is also a national shortage of housing in general. As with anything, when demand outweighs supply prices go up. This problem must be rectified if the issue of affordable housing is to be addressed.

Who needs affordable housing?

Buying a property will always be the number one aim fir most British adults. On the continent this is not always the case. Indeed in many countries in Europe many adults have no desire to buy a house. Instead they choose to continue renting all their lives. In the UK, despite rising house prices and property shortages becoming a home owner is still an ambition for most people which is why affordable housing is so important.

The National Statistics organisation puts the average wage at around £22,000. With a typical mortgage calculation of 3.5 times income a potential borrower could borrow around £77,000 to buy a property. The average property in the UK today costs in the region of £230,000 (according to the Land Registry) so potential home owners are left with a shortfall of £153,000. Without considerable savings to add to the mortgage the prospect of a buying a property is out of reach. This means many first-time buyers especially have no choice but to continue renting a property in the hope that house prices may fall dramatically in the future.

The UK has always had a house buying culture and a thriving property market. Unless something is done about the lack of affordable housing that could all be about to change.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Chelsea
    Re: The Right to Acquire Scheme
    I applied twice for the right to acquire the housing association house that I've lived in for the last 12 years with my husband and…
    4 January 2018
  • Ash
    Re: Buying Your Council House
    I have lived in various council and housing association properties over the last 30 years. I have lived in my current home for 3…
    29 December 2017
  • Ade
    Re: Are You Classed as a Key Worker?
    I am a nurse I will like to rent using this scheme. How can I go about it.
    26 December 2017
  • AffordableHomeAdvice
    Re: The Right to Acquire Scheme
    LadyG - Your Question:I've been a housing association tenant since 2000 but I've been informed that my property is not eligible to…
    12 December 2017
  • LadyG
    Re: The Right to Acquire Scheme
    I also put in my application in January 2015 but was informed that l will have to pay the repairs that were being carried out…
    12 December 2017
  • LadyG
    Re: The Right to Acquire Scheme
    I've been a housing association tenant since 2000 but I've been informed that my property is not eligible to buy because it was…
    12 December 2017
  • Stu
    Re: How I Got a Key Worker Mortgage: A Case Study
    Hello. will key worker schemes ever be a viable option in London if "In general, banks and building…
    11 December 2017
  • Deb
    Re: Housing Association Properties
    Hi im a single parent and my son is 13 years old i work partime 20 hours a week we are currently renting privately but the house…
    7 December 2017
  • AffordableHomeAdvice
    Re: The Right to Acquire Scheme
    Matmo - Your Question:I been an housing Association house tended since 2007 do I have right to acquire???
    5 December 2017
  • Franandy
    Re: Are You Classed as a Key Worker?
    Would I be eligible for a home I am a teaching assistant.
    3 December 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the AffordableHomeAdvice website. Please read our Disclaimer.