The UK is currently facing a housing crisis. New research indicates that the UK needs to build 340,000 new homes a year until 2031 to address the shocking situation. Currently, England’s total housing need backlog has reached a whopping four million homes. The UK government needs to find the space, time, money, and resources available to build four million properties. That is a big problem.
The pandemic only worsened the situation when the housing industry ground to a halt between April and June 2020. Lockdown put most housing projects on hold as people were urged to stay home and save lives. Fortunately, the housing industry could resume work in the summer of 2020 and continue to work through the second and third lockdowns. However, Brexit hit just as the housing industry was getting back on its feet.
Supply chains have collapsed across Europe. There is a lack of building materials, like roof membranes, cement and bricks. The industry needs these materials to build 340,000 homes this year and resolve a crushing housing crisis.
Fortunately, the government is trying to address the housing crisis in other ways.
The help-to-buy scheme aims to help first-time buyers get a property. The government scheme means first time buyers can offer a 5% deposit and borrow the remaining 20% interest-free for five years. Saving up for a house deposit is one of the biggest challenges for first-time buyers. Most young professionals do not have the funds to save up tens of thousands of pounds. You can apply for the scheme until the 31st of March 2023. Hopefully, this will help more people to get on the property ladder and into their first home.
Building on the green belt
Just outside of London, there is a green belt with fields, pastures, and diverse wildlife. The greenbelt is in Enfield, and currently, there is a guarantee that the land is kept green and healthy. Some call the green belt the “lungs of London”, and it was designed to stop the city from expanding into the historic towns of Southern England. The Metropolitan Green Belt is more than one million acres and keeps London at bay.
Initially, Boris Johnson claimed he would only allow building on the green belt in ‘exceptional circumstances.’ However, the green belt is now vulnerable, and there are already plans to build 233,000 new houses on the precious spans of land. The green belt has remained untouched for over 70 years, and it has provided fresh air just outside of London.
There is no magic solution
Unfortunately, there is no magic solution to the UK housing crisis. A compromise has to be made, and it might mean sacrificing the beautiful countryside around London.