How to make London more affordable for new grads

Jessica Morris
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Young graduates appear to be hardly any better off than those without a degree (Source: Getty)

London is in the midst of a housing crisis, and the UK's poorest graduates are bearing the brunt of this, however ramping up the number of innovate housing schemes for young people could help alleviate this.

Less than six per cent of new graduates who move to London come from the most disadvantaged 20 per cent of UK neighbourhoods, according to a report by LSE for the Sutton Trust. Conversely 42 per cent come from the most advantaged 20 per cent of UK neighborhoods.

And in general, young graduates appear to be hardly any better off than those without a degree.

The widening gap between the supply of new housing stock, compared to demand for it, lies at the heart of this. Since 2001 London’s population has risen by 12 per cent, but the city’s housing stock has only increased by nine per cent. Consequently the report urges candidates in the 2016 mayoral election to consider innovative and new types of housing schemes to address this.

Read more: How technology could help solve London's housing crisis

One possible solution is short-term student-style housing to help new grads get a foothold in the capital. Privately rented housing developments targeted at young professionals could also help solve the problem, as well as factory-built housing to provide transitional accomodation.

"There are important innovations being tried – but all need scale if they are to be successful," Kath Scanlon, LSE research fellow and co-author of the report, said.

Market-based student housing

"[This] can enable young people to gain a foothold in the capital in the short-term, with a proven track-record of success."

Age-targeted privately-rented housing developments

"[These] tailors housing design, amenities and business models to suit the needs of young professionals."

Factory built pre-fabricated housing

"[This] produces simple housing quickly and at limited expense, providing effective transitional housing for those leaving university."

Covenated privately-rented housing

"As a condition of planning permission, new dwellings remain in the private rented sector for a set number of years ... however such developments would probably provide private renting at the expense of affordable housing and would not be targeted specifically at the young professional group."

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