I was asked by the Brighton Argus to give my predictions regarding housing and homelessness for 2016. I was not very upbeat, I am afraid. Here are my predictions, as published in today’s edition of the paper (1st January 2016):
I have no cause for any optimism as we enter 2016. The housing market will continue to overheat with prices rising even further beyond the reach of most first time buyers. Rents in the private rented sector, currently costing 49% of household incomes, will continue to rise.
Recent government announcements, though costly, will do little if anything to alleviate the housing crisis in the south east.
Cuts in public funding, and decisions being made locally, could see a marked increase in the number of people sleeping rough. Specialist projects aimed at getting people off the streets, and keeping them housed, are being eroded, and some will be lost forever.
Households on the waiting list will continue to be disappointed unless they have incomes of over £65,000 and can take advantage of the government’s Starter Homes initiative. But there is little, if any, cause for optimism for ordinary households on average incomes. The poor don’t stand a chance.