Finger On The Pulse: Housing Fifty Years On

Unlike most of the fabulous spring chickens I work with here at Oracle, I reached the slightly startling milestone of 50 this year. Making me exactly the same age as the last English Housing Survey.

So back in my birth year of 1967, life was rather different for the good people of Blighty. The survey tells us that over half (51%) of the English housing stock was owner occupied, 29% was rented in the social rented sector, and 20% was privately rented.

And now fifty years later, 63% of the stock is owner occupied, 17% in the social rented sector and 20% remains privately rented.

These stats certainly prove the UK’s desire to own their own homes, despite the difficulties that continually stand in the way of youngsters desperately trying to get out of the rent trap.  Good news potentially for the Government that the number of people in socially rented homes has dropped so significantly – although much of this started at the hand of Maggie Thatcher, who drove the campaign for ‘Right to Buy’ and potentially fuelled much of today’s housing crisis.

According to the 1967 report, facilities weren’t too great as I entered this world.  Twenty-five percent of homes lacked one or more of the following basic amenities: a bath or shower, an indoor WC, a wash hand basin, hot and cold water at three points – my poor Mum!  By 1991, only one percent of homes lacked one or more of these, and the number of homes that fail to meet this standard today is thankfully almost too small to measure.

Interestingly, the report states that in 1968 a record number of homes were completed – 352,540.  In 2016 this figure had fallen dramatically to 140,850 and you don’t have to look far in the news to read articles on how the government are trying to combat this problem. The recent Budget announcement, of course, is one example of how Government try to tackle the housing problems.

I do wonder how things will pan out over the next fifty years – although I doubt I will be here to find out.

Who knows, the year 2067 could see people living in stacked, easy to construct boxes rising steeply into the sky.  Here, you might rarely need to leave the security of ‘home’ as all your daily needs will be available in pre-packed tablet form, delivered to your door by drones.  Working from home might become a right as opposed to a benefit and you will be able to attend reality nights with your friends from the comfort of your sofa – sounds ghastly doesn’t it!

By Viv Onslow, PR Account Director

 

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