ONS figures show a 46% rise in young people aged 20-34 returning home to live with parents. The youth housing crisis needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
As the housing crisis continues to go unanswered, we are increasingly hearing of young people who are unable to take the significant step of living independently, either renting or owning their own home, due to the affordability of deposits, rent and mortgages.
At 19 I bought my own first home, a two bedroom terrace house in a town centre location. The cost was £40,000. Having left school at 16, I had a good employment record and was doing well at a job in sales. Although my salary was relatively modest, it was enough to make theleap to living independently and – in my mind at the time – entering adulthood.
Now, some 20 years later with children of my own, I cannot see a world in which they will make that same leap as easily – and certainly not as early. The same house I bought in 1999 would now cost £130,000!
Owning your own home? For too many young people, that’s an impossible dream.
Owning your own home, having a good job and a good life is starting to become an unachievable dream for many young people… when so many of us were once able to take this for granted.
For the fortunate young person who can live with their parents because there is room, a positive relationship, and their parents can afford the extra costs – you are now the lucky ones.
Thousands of young people aren’t able to live with their families, for a variety of reasons. Once again this creates inequality amongst young people, and an even greater intergenerational inequality ,as this generation is worse off then those before it.
Real and immediate action is required to tackle the youth housing crisis.
As Youth Employment UK continues to call on the Government to take up the recommendations in our Manifesto for Youth Employment, we also advocate for bold action in tackling the housing crisis.
Employers must also play their part in creating fairer working environments for young people. All employers can help by ensuring the opportunities they offer are of good quality and promote good pay and development opportunities. The Youth Friendly Employers we work with are committed to this agenda, and we need more employers to step up and join them.
Youth Employment UK CEO Laura-Jane Rawlings is available for further comment: email@example.com