Just under 2/3 of people in Britain live in owner occupied housing. It's decreasing and includes many households facing interest rate rises, on top of inflated house prices. There are a host of issues and vulnerabilities; but then there's renting.
Renting is mostly either in social housing or private rented. In Britain, we have too little social housing: demand far outstrips supply. With private rented, rents keep rising, driven by house prices, interest rates, regulation and demand. Even so, the boom in highly profitable holiday lets means more and more accommodation is being used for that, rather than housing.
Meanwhile, we have massive energy bills, amongst the highest in Europe. They're part of the cost of living crisis that sees more and more households struggling.
It’s no wonder that we have a homelessness crisis. It’s a symptom of high prices and lack of housing.
What can be done? Local authorities have responsibility for addressing homelessness; but for many, the financial ability to do so is limited. There have been government schemes, such as the Rough Sleeper Initiative, which help; but we need more.
Ultimately, this is a matter for central government, requiring bravery and determination. We need far more affordable housing, we need Housing Benefit to rise so that it covers actual rent and we need regulation of holiday lets, for a start. This is not time to reduce house building targets. Equally, some of the small scale schemes from government to better prevent rough sleeping, help prison leavers and more are worthwhile; but lack of affordable housing undermines everything else. Addressing that has to be a key priority for government.