In April 2015, our since-defected Prime Minister, David Cameron made a valiant attempt to reassure the nation: “The dream of a property-owning democracy is alive and well and we will help you fulfil it.”
Unsurprisingly, the nation responded with a resounding: “Huh?”
Currently, over 80% of homes in the UK are valued well outside of the average family’s price range, and home ownership is at its lowest level since the 1980s. Unsurprisingly, young adults are taking the largest hit, with 25- to 34-year olds suffering most in comparison with their historical counterparts.
Meanwhile, the Tory Party’s main effort to address the problem - the universally-maligned housing and planning bill, passed this year in spite of overwhelming criticism from all sides - in fact seems more concerned with making matters much, much worse: because who knew that selling social housing for profit was the way to go about providing affordable accommodation for the masses?
Hence, despite Dave’s best efforts, us millenials have earned ourselves the endearing title of ‘generation rent’ – a particularly grim tag that seeks to define us purely in terms of the opportunities that we’ve been denied. So now it seems we must roll over and come to terms with the fact that the great Conservative ideal of the property-owning democracy was not one that was really ever intended for us.
Or perhaps not. Because luckily - and contrary to popular opinion – ‘generation rent’ has so far proven itself to be a remarkably resilient one. Despite coming of age at the brink of the Great Recession, and therefore facing economic hardships far greater than those of our parents, we are less violent, less likely to fall into debt, closer to our families, more academically driven and on the whole more optimistic about our futures. Not bad for a generation widely assumed to be phone-obsessed, overly-entitled and ultimately narcissistic.
Accordingly, young people across the UK are coming up with innovative and inspiring ways to create their own housing opportunities in spite of the neglect shown by our government – and just some of these solutions are explored in wonderful detail in a new video short produced by Vice for giffgaff:
Are you interested in learning more about property guardianship schemes in the UK? Head to: