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As many as half of the millennial generation are likely to still be living in rental accommodation in their 40s, while one in three people could be renters when they retire. A new report from the think tank, The Resolution Foundation, shows that this is the likely scenario if the homeownership growth in the UK continues to follow the pattern of the 2000s. The foundation said that a generation of young people are facing the prospect that they will never own their own home. It argues that radical reforms are required to make sure the privately-rented sector is fit for raising a family with children and for retirees.

Its report said housing policy has not caught up with the fact that it is now the norm for families to bring up children in rented homes. The Home Improvements report also notes that private renting has increased rapidly over the years. At the age of 30, four out of 10 millennials will be tenants rather than homeowners. This is double the rate of Generation X – the previous generation – at the same age. It is also four times the rate of the baby boomers who were born in the 1950s and 1960s. Now, 1.8 million families and their children live in private rental accommodation, compared to 600,000 at the turn of the 21st century. This is a record number which is only set to increase as more people find they either cannot afford to buy or do not want the inconvenience of a lengthy mortgage.

The foundation says that the rising proportion of retired tenants, along with the ageing population, could see the housing benefit bill for retirees rise from £6.3 billion to £16bn by 2060. These stark figures show how everyone will ultimately pay for the failure of dealing with the housing crisis. The problem has been discussed and policies put forward but still people are talking about the housing crisis and fear it will worsen. Steps have been taken to support house building and build-to-rents, but there is still a long way to go to meet the demands for privately rental stock. The foundation said there should be a fair balance between tenants’ needs and the rights of landlords. This could mean giving tenants more stability by introducing indeterminate tenancies in England and Wales, such as those that exist in Scotland.

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