'I can't afford a home'

1st November 2016

Housing is an issue for many single people. Catherine Francis writes about some practical routes to finding a home, along with some advice for church leaders on how to help. 

In our surveys many single Christians highlighted the problems of housing – both its availability and cost.  If you live in the country, there are fewer homes suitable for singles. But in the major cities, such as London, Birmingham and Manchester, the issue is affordability.

And then there are the psychological factors: shame at not having a place of your own, of living like a student into middle-age or even staying with your parents.

Our research highlighted the difficulty of saving for a deposit as a single person. This was confirmed in a major survey by one of the mortgage lenders which revealed that it takes single people, on average, 10 years longer than for couples to save for a deposit 

High rental charges, particularly in the major cities, mean that renting alone may not be an affordable option for many single people.

Affordable housing is a growing political issue. In  April 2016, churches, mosques and synagogues united under the banner of London Citizens UK to press the leading Mayoral candidates to make homes more affordable. The aim is to campaign for a London Living Wage, a taskforce to address rogue landlords and to lobby for a Good Homes Charter. This is very heavily supported by Christian churches, which have been at the forefront of recognising the need for more action on housing. (See, for example the list of South London affiliated members.)

The two articles on this website cover how to approach housing as a single person and offer insight and guidance to church leaders.