The festive season is upon us. At some point over the next couple of weeks most of us will have a cosy evening decorating the Christmas tree in our Christmas jumper, listening to the Pogues and drinking mulled wine. People living in house shares are no exception. Except they are, well 16% of them. That's because 16% of shared homes don't have a living room. ..
Rewind a few decades to when the Conservatives, under Margaret Thatcher, were selling off council houses under the Right To Buy scheme. The then Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Heseltine, said that home ownership helps to foster "attitudes of independence and self-reliance, the bedrock of a free society".
You struggle, scrimp and save, and battle against all the odds to somehow obtain that illusive dream of homeownership...your very own piece of Britain. But as a nation we are under siege, surrounded by an invading army waiting to steal away that which we worked so hard to achieve. This grim hoard hails from the land of HMRC and its army is inheritance tax...
The Bureau's trawl of local authority planning documents has established that 24 the 54 developments by the Crown Estate, the Duchies, the Church and Grosvenor fail to meet local affordable housing targets. In other words, Britain's five historic landowners are building in places where there is a recognised need for affordable homes, a requirement for them to meet that need but they often fail to do so.
Not only is the bedroom tax an attack on those currently living in social housing, it also hits the five million people on the waiting list because it has led to fewer houses being built... These funds should be being used to build homes and carry out much needed repairs - but instead they're being used to protect the most vulnerable from this government's Bedroom Tax.
While a quarter of parents said having their grown-up children at home had brought their family closer together, others were not so positive. A fifth said it caused them stress and a further fifth said it had caused family arguments. Worryingly, one in ten parents said having a grown-up child living at home has caused them to fall into debt.
London needs to deliver more homes of all types to support its economy and population boom - about twice as many as during the past twenty years but, intriguingly, only about half as many as were built each year during London's house building boom in the 1930s, despite the wider economic challenges of that decade.
In London, the population is forecast to grow to nine million by 2020, and at present, there are 180,000 developments that are currently stalled in the city. Overly ambitious affordable housing targets are stifling the development of new homes, and that is why I recently called for London's 33 local councils to take a flexible approach to affordable housing requirements.