Making affordable homes actually affordable
Affordable housing rarely means affordable. So many households across the UK are struggling with household costs in homes that claim to be ‘affordable’. But why is that?
There are plenty of hidden costs around affordable housing which pushes the costs up for households. The main one is transportation costs. A lot of affordable housing is located miles from workplaces, schools, shops meaning families who don’t drive have a costly trip every time they want to go anywhere.
Access to jobs is another hidden cost which affects a households’ income. The cheapest housing isn’t always located around the best jobs, meaning people have to either travel or settle for a lower paid job much closer to home. If there is a limited transport system, it means that people are limited to where they can work if they don’t drive.
On top of your commute, you may also incur extra childcare costs. For those families who can’t have a stay at home parent, they need to find somewhere for the child to be looked after while they’re working, and if they work in an area away from the home then they’ll most likely not live near childcare facilities either. Not every family is lucky enough to have a family member around the corner who’s free to undertake childcare duties.
So what do we need to do? We need to make affordable homes actually affordable. We need developers, councils and local authorities to factor all these things in when planning a new development. Is the affordable housing going to be located in an area with plenty of facilities within a short distance? We need affordable beautiful, accessible homes in an area with access to childcare, schools and decent jobs, as well as a dynamic community.