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Homes are the foundation of our lives. That’s why we’re working towards the creation of a more equitable housing market, which supports everyone who needs a decent and affordable home.

As the foundations of our lives our homes are essential to our physical health, mental health and wellbeing. Yet, the housing system is failing many people who need it to provide them with a solid foundation.  

One of JRF’s main beliefs is that everyone should have an affordable, decent and safe home they can live in for as long as they want or need. However, at the moment, we don’t have the right number of homes, the right type of homes or homes in the right places.  

Increasing the supply of new homes 

Tackling this requires increasing the supply of new homes, and JRF, along with other experts, is highlighting the urgent need for a sharp increase in the supply of homes, especially social homes. Solutions to address this failure to build enough homes lies in redesigning the way land is sold and disrupting the power of the big housing developers.  

But tackling the availability of decent and affordable homes for people on lower incomes also requires a much stronger focus on improving the homes we already have – something that policy has often ignored. This means focusing on security of tenure and the quality and environmental sustainability of our homes. Underpinning this means changing who owns them and in whose interest they act – in other words, moving away from a model where speculative property investment has undermined the quality and security of homes for too many.  

Our mission

Our mission is to shape policies and strategies that could redesign the system to create a more equitable housing market, particularly for people on lower incomes.  

We want to see:  

  • a higher rate of homeownership, especially among younger people and those on lower incomes, that is sustainable for future generations 

  • more options for people on lower incomes to be able to access a home that’s social rent or below market rent, with much greater supply and availability of these genuinely affordable homes 

  • higher-quality and better-managed, privately-rented homes – in any rebalanced and redesigned system private renting would be a smaller tenure, appropriate for people who choose to rent because of the flexibility it offers, as opposed to our current system in which people are forced to live in privately-rented homes even though this type of tenure is ill-suited to their situations and incomes 

JRF’s approach to supporting the redesign of the housing system is to develop and advocate for policy solutions that can both respond to the immediate crisis and steer the housing market towards longer-term equitability. This includes using our role as a funder, investor, and convenor to grow innovative new models of providing homes and establishing these ideas in the political discourse. 

Talking about housing

If we’re to build a better, more equal society in which everyone can thrive, we must make sure we all have access to a decent and affordable home.

When we talk about the importance of home we want to shift the dominant understanding of housing as a source of wealth to homes as essential to a decent life.

We've been collaborating with the Nationwide Foundation and FrameWorks to understand public attitudes to housing. FrameWorks has researched how to talk about housing and homes in a way that helps people understand the problems and what can be done about them.

The toolkit and resources below are useful for anyone who is talking and writing about housing and homes.