Third of mil­len­ni­als face rent­ing into re­tire­ment, think tank warns

Western Mail - - NEWS - VICKY SHAW news­desk@waleson­line.co.uk

UP to half of the mil­len­nial gen­er­a­tion could still be rent­ing in their 40s and a third could be “re­tiree renters”, a re­port warns.

The Res­o­lu­tion Foun­da­tion think­tank said that if home own­er­ship growth in Britain fol­lows the “weak pat­tern” of the 2000s, up to half of mil­len­ni­als born be­tween 1981 and 2000 could be rent­ing ei­ther pri­vately or in the so­cial rented sec­tor in their 40s, and a third could still be rent­ing by the time they claim their pen­sions.

The Foun­da­tion said rad­i­cal re­form is needed to make the pri­vate rental sec­tor fit for rais­ing chil­dren and re­tire­ment “be­cause a gen­er­a­tion of young peo­ple face the prospect of never own­ing their own home”.

In a re­port pub­lished by the Res­o­lu­tion Foun­da­tion for its In­ter­gen­er­a­tional Com­mis­sion, it said pol­icy has failed to catch up with the fact that bring­ing up chil­dren in the pri­vate rental sec­tor has be­come main­stream.

Pri­vate rent­ing has grown rapidly in re­cent decades, the Home Im­prove­ments re­port said.

At age 30, four in 10 mil­len­ni­als live in this way, dou­ble the rate at the same age for gen­er­a­tion X – the gen­er­a­tion above mil­len­ni­als – and four times that for baby boomers born in the 20 years af­ter the end of the Sec­ond World War.

A record 1.8 mil­lion fam­i­lies with chil­dren rent pri­vately, up from just 600,000 15 years ago, the re­port said.

The Foun­da­tion said that a “ris­ing share of re­tiree renters, cou­pled with an age­ing pop­u­la­tion, could more than dou­ble the hous­ing ben­e­fit bill for pen­sion­ers from £6.3bn to­day to £16bn by 2060 – high­light­ing how ev­ery­one ul­ti­mately pays for fail­ing to tackle Britain’s hous­ing cri­sis”.

Lind­say Judge, se­nior pol­icy an­a­lyst at the Res­o­lu­tion Foun­da­tion, said: “Britain’s hous­ing prob­lems have de­vel­oped into a full-blown cri­sis over re­cent decades and young peo­ple are bear­ing the brunt...

“While there have been some steps re­cently to sup­port house build­ing and first-time buy­ers, up to a third of mil­len­ni­als still face the prospect of rent­ing from cra­dle to grave. If we want to tackle Britain’s ‘here and now’ hous­ing cri­sis we have to im­prove con­di­tions for the mil­lions of fam­i­lies liv­ing in pri­vate rented ac­com­mo­da­tion.

“That means rais­ing stan­dards and re­duc­ing the risks as­so­ci­at­ing with rent­ing through ten­ancy re­form and light touch rent sta­bil­i­sa­tion.”

The Foun­da­tion said, to give ten­ants longer-term sta­bil­ity in their homes, in­de­ter­mi­nate ten­an­cies should be in­tro­duced as the sole form of con­tract in Eng­land and Wales, fol­low­ing Scot­land’s lead.

It said there must be a “fair bal­anc­ing of the needs of ten­ants with the rights of land­lords”, and land­lords should not be able to end ten­an­cies at short no­tice with­out good cause.

To keep rents sta­ble, rent rises should be lim­ited to the Con­sumer Prices In­dex (CPI) mea­sure of in­fla­tion over three-year pe­ri­ods, the re­port said.

A new hous­ing tri­bunal should be set up, to en­sure land­lords and ten­ants can have dis­putes re­solved swiftly, the Foun­da­tion ar­gued.

The Res­o­lu­tion Foun­da­tion aims to im­prove the liv­ing stan­dards of those in Britain on low to mid­dle in­comes.

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