Tackling the lack of affordable housing across the UK

The lack of affordable housing in the UK is a growing concern for many. The latest figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government reveal that there were 1.16 million households on waiting lists for affordable housing in England in 2021. This is a 7% increase compared to the previous year and highlights the urgent need for innovative solutions to tackle the affordable housing crisis. One such solution is property guardianship.

Property guardianship involves individuals living in vacant properties as temporary occupants, providing security and maintenance while paying affordable rents. Property guardianship schemes have been successful in providing affordable housing solutions for key workers and young professionals.

The concept of property guardianship is not new, but its potential as an innovative solution to the affordable housing crisis has only recently gained wider recognition. As the cost of living continues to rise, many are finding it increasingly difficult to secure affordable housing. The housing crisis in London is acute. Property guardianship offers a cost-effective solution that provides a roof over people’s heads, allowing them to save for their future.

According to the UK housing charity Shelter, the definition of affordable housing is when a household spends no more than 30% of its income on rent or mortgage payments. Unfortunately, the reality is that many individuals are spending a much larger proportion of their income on housing, leaving little left for other essentials such as food and utilities.

Our property guardian scheme can help to alleviate this problem by providing affordable housing options that are flexible, cost-effective, and accessible. The properties used for property guardianship are vacant buildings, such as former care homes, emoty homes, schools or offices, which are repurposed for residential use. This allows for a larger number of affordable housing units to be created and can help to breathe new life into neglected or underused spaces.

One of the key benefits of property guardianship is the short-term nature of the agreements, which typically range from a few months to a few years. This flexibility is especially beneficial for individuals who may be uncertain about their long-term housing needs or are in the process of transitioning to a new job or location.

Another benefit of property guardianship is the sense of community that it can create. Property guardian schemes often involve communal living arrangements, which can foster a sense of belonging and provide support for individuals who may be struggling to secure affordable housing through traditional means.

In addition to providing affordable housing solutions, property guardianship can also have positive impacts on the wider community. By repurposing vacant buildings for residential use, property guardianship schemes can help to reduce urban blight and address issues of anti-social behavior in areas that have been neglected or abandoned.

Furthermore, property guardianship can provide a cost-effective solution for building owners who may be struggling to maintain vacant properties. By utilising property guardianship schemes, building owners can benefit from the security and maintenance provided by temporary occupants while saving on costly security measures and building maintenance.

The affordable housing crisis in the UK is a growing concern, and innovative solutions are needed to tackle this issue. Property guardianship is one such solution, offering affordable housing options that are flexible, cost-effective, and accessible. By repurposing vacant properties for residential use, property guardianship schemes can help to address the affordable housing crisis while also benefiting the wider community. As the cost of living continues to rise, it is crucial that we explore innovative solutions like property guardianship to provide affordable housing options for those who need them most.