Today's headlines will make for grim reading for Teresa May, who has taken "personal charge" for solving this country's housing crisis.
Housing policy has changed several times over recent years. The Cameron Government's approach focused on increasing home ownership, and was criticised by many for failing to address the needs of the country's most needy. Teresa May's Government has moved away from that position, and is encouraging the development of all tenures, but the reality is that the supply of social rented accommodation doesn't meet demand.
Housing associations across the country are trying to increase the supply of new homes via new developments, but those developments are often only viable if supported by open market sales or units designed for open market rent. I chaired a roundtable session yesterday and heard that many housing associations are committed to building new homes that will be rented at levels that are genuinely affordable to their residents - some are trialling rents that are set according to household income - but will it be enough? We have been working with housing associations who are entering innovative partnerships/collaborations to ensure that they are able to help increase supply.
Housing associations are also working with their tenants, as universal credit is rolled out, to ensure that they have the tools needed to manage their finances.
More changes are expected from the Government, and we wait with interest to see the extent to which these will help address the needs of those who, even with help, cannot afford to buy their home.
Rising rents coupled with frozen local housing allowance rates mean private tenancies are simply out of reach for low-income households in many parts of the country. An overwhelming majority of English councils (89%) report difficulties assisting homeless applicants into the private rented sector, with many saying that this is now almost impossible