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Parliamentary Paper

Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study, University of Essex - written evidence (UKH0026) [House of Lords. Built Environment Committee. Meeting the UK’s housing demand inquiry]

Publication date

Sep 2021


Key points: Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study, is a world-leading survey of continuity and change in life in the UK, funded by the UKRI Economic and Social Research Council and supported by a number of government departments and devolved administrations. In April 2020, we began a regular new survey to look at the impact of Covid-19 on the UK population.
Research using our data has shown: 1) Home ownership levels have fallen, but buying a home is strongly influenced by socio-economic status;
2) Children with parents who have property wealth are less likely than they were to be homeowners themselves by the time they are 30, but still more likely to own property than those whose parents are not homeowners;
3) The traditional preference of couples to become homeowners before having their first child has been undermined by rising unaffordability and housing uncertainty;
4) Government initiatives to help young adults buy property are likely to disproportionately benefit more advantaged social groups and increase inequality;
5) A fairer way to improve young people’s residential conditions would be to improve the cost and quality of renting;
6) The Covid pandemic has highlighted certain housing problems, emphasising a need for greater investment in social housing, more secure private tenancies, and reversing reductions in housing benefit support;
7) Housing-related factors may now be more important than labour market ones in residential decision-making, raising questions about choice and opportunity;
8) Policy needs to address the question: who is not able to move to improve their circumstances?


Households, Economics, Living Standards, Public Policy, Household Economics, Social Stratification, and Housing Market


Related publications

  1. Meeting housing demand. 1st report of session 2021-22. Ordered to be printed 14 December 2021 and published 10 January 2022

    1. Town Planning
    2. Households
    3. Living Standards
    4. Public Policy
    5. Government
    6. Housing Market


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