'Epic' housing crisis means England short of four million homes, study claims
The "epic" scale of the housing crisis in England means that the country is now short of four million homes, research claims.
The estimate, calculated for the National Housing Federation and the charity Crisis, takes into account people who are homeless, "boomerang" generation adults still living with their parents, couples who would otherwise have separated and people in flatshares who would have moved out.
The research looked at Office for National Statistics (ONS) population figures and the English Housing Survey as well as other reports to arrive at the four million estimate.
David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: "This groundbreaking new research shows the epic scale of the housing crisis in England.
"The shortfall of homes can't be met overnight - instead, we need an urgent effort from the Government to meet this need, before it publishes its social housing green paper in the summer."
The research, conducted by Heriot-Watt University, also estimates that to both tackle the backlog of homes needed and keep up with new demand, the country needs to build 340,000 homes per year until 2031.
It said 145,000 of these 340,000 homes should be affordable homes. Of the 145,000 affordable homes, 90,000 should be for social rent, 30,000 should be for intermediate affordable rent and 25,000 should be for shared ownership.
Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: "To truly get to grips with this crisis and ensure everyone has a safe and stable home, we must build the social and affordable housing we need to end homelessness once and for all."
Terrie Alafat, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, said: "This isn't just a numbers game and we have to make sure we build the right homes, in the right places and that people can afford them."
Campbell Robb, chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: "Now is the time to redesign our housing market so that it works for everyone - no matter who they are or where they come from."
And Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: "Government can turn things around but only by building many more of the high quality, genuinely affordable homes this country is crying out for."
A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokesman said: "This Government is committed to building a housing market fit for the future, with the homes our communities need.
"We have a comprehensive plan to deliver this, including reforming planning rules and investing £9 billion in affordable homes.
"We are also allowing councils to borrow more and providing them with increased certainty over rents so they can build more homes."