One in every five English households will be forced to spend more than a third of their income on housing by the end of the next parliament, unless a long-term plan to fix the housing crisis is put into place, says a report by the National Housing Federation.  

Rising mortgage rates and private rents, coupled with a chronic shortage of social housing, will see 4.8 million households struggle to meet their housing costs by 2030, says the housing associations lobby group.  

This will mean an extra 1.7 million living in unaffordable homes, a jump of 35% between official figures in 2020/21 and the end of the decade, the study forecasts.  

This includes an extra one million additional homeowners facing unaffordable mortgage costs, taking the total to 1.9 million — more than double current levels.  

And 600,000 additional households living in unaffordable private rented homes, taking the total to 2.2 million.  

It predicts almost a further 1.7 million families will be on the waiting list for social housing as well as children who will be homeless and living in emergency accommodation, such as B&Bs and hostels.  

The body calls for a long-term plan to fix the country’s “broken housing system”, which includes the regeneration of existing homes to bring them to “a decent standard”, the building of 90,000 social rented homes each year for the next decade, as well as “ambitious and measurable outcomes” across the housing industry.  

National Housing Federation chief executive Kate Henderson says: “For decades, the number of families who can’t access a safe, secure home has been rising.   

“Without urgent action from government, by the end of the next parliament many more families will be left living in unsuitable and unaffordable housing, affecting their health, economic security and life chances.”  

Henderson adds: “Today’s report shows that short-term, piecemeal decisions on housing have created an emergency that will continue escalating at a rapid rate. But this is a crisis that can be solved.   

“By committing to a long-term plan for housing that is properly funded and based on ambitious, measurable outcomes, politicians of all parties could begin to turn the tide and create real change for people in need of affordable housing.”  

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