Owning a home set to become a pipe dream for young workers on modest incomes. Over-45s now account for three-quarters of all home owners. The housing ladder is disappearing for most young working households on modest incomes. For this group home ownership is projected to be approaching just one-in-ten by 2025, according to new analysis to be published next week by the independent Resolution Foundation think tank.
While the biggest decline in young families owning homes is for those on modest incomes, it has also fallen for young households that are benefit dependent or on higher incomes. As a result home ownership is increasingly becoming the preserve of older and wealthier households.
The analysis finds that those aged 65+ now account for around one-third (32 per cent) of all homeowners, up from less than one-quarter (23 per cent) in 1998 – an increase of 43 per cent. In contrast, those aged 16-34 account for just 10 per cent of homeowners, down from 19 per cent in 1998 – a 49 per cent reduction.
The analysis shows that young (under-35) modest income working households (working-age households in the bottom half of the income distribution who are primarily in work) have recorded especially sharp declines, with homeownership plummeting from 57 per cent in 1998 to just 25 per cent. In contrast, levels of private renting have more than doubled, from 22 per cent to 53 per cent.
The position is starker still in London. The proportion of younger modest income working households owning their own home more than halved over the last decade, falling to just 13 per cent. If home ownership were to continue to decline at the same rate in the capital for this group, it would all but end by 2025, dropping below 1-in-20.
Younger modest income households in the capital are already more likely to live in social housing (17 per cent) than in their own place. But the predominant position is to rent privately, with 70 per cent of members of this group doing so – up from just 37 per cent in 2003.
Looking across low to middle income households of all ages, the research shows that just over half (55 per cent) own their home, one-quarter (27 per cent) rent privately and one-fifth (19 per cent) are in socially rented accommodation.
Nationally, homeownership has been falling slowly since the start of the century – following a steady increase from the 1950s onwards – and stands at around 63 per cent today.
Matt Whittaker, Chief Economist at the Resolution Foundation, said:
“Our findings highlight the extent to which the housing landscape facing young, working households on modest incomes has shifted in recent years. At the turn of the century, just over half of this group owned their own place; today it’s one-quarter. If that pace of decline continues, we can expect home ownership to be available to fewer than one-in-ten by the end of the next decade.
“With the average modest income household having to spend 22 years to raise the money needed for a typical first time buyer deposit – up from just 3 years in the mid-1990s – it’s no surprise that owning is increasingly a pipe dream for many.
“If we want to see an increase in working families being able to afford to buy, it is essential that the housing shortage is tackled by the Government. Schemes such as Help to Buy can only ever help a minority – often providing a leg-up to those who would eventually climb onto the housing ladder anyway. More than half of those benefiting from Help to Buy to date have household incomes in excess of £40,000. It is hard to imagine any way out of the home ownership crisis facing those on low to middle incomes that doesn’t involve significantly boosting house building.”
Change in tenure among low to middle income households aged under-35:
UK 1997-98 2013-14
New Zealand to Switch to Fully Renewable Energy by 2035
New Zealand’s prime minister-elect Jacinda Ardern is already taking steps towards reducing the country’s carbon footprint. She signed a coalition deal with NZ First in October, aiming to generate 100% of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2035.
New Zealand is already one of the greenest countries in the world, sourcing over 80% of its energy for its 4.7 million people from renewable resources like hydroelectric, geothermal and wind. The majority of its electricity comes from hydro-power, which generated 60% of the country’s energy in 2016. Last winter, renewable generation peaked at 93%.
Now, Ardern is taking on the challenge of eliminating New Zealand’s remaining use of fossil fuels. One of the biggest obstacles will be filling in the gap left by hydropower sources during dry conditions. When lake levels drop, the country relies on gas and coal to provide energy. Eliminating fossil fuels will require finding an alternative source to avoid spikes in energy costs during droughts.
Business NZ’s executive director John Carnegie told Bloomberg he believes Ardern needs to balance her goals with affordability, stating, “It’s completely appropriate to have a focus on reducing carbon emissions, but there needs to be an open and transparent public conversation about the policies and how they are delivered.”
The coalition deal outlined a few steps towards achieving this, including investing more in solar, which currently only provides 0.1% of the country’s energy. Ardern’s plans also include switching the electricity grid to renewable energy, investing more funds into rail transport, and switching all government vehicles to green fuel within a decade.
Zero net emissions by 2050
Beyond powering the country’s electricity grid with 100% green energy, Ardern also wants to reach zero net emissions by 2050. This ambitious goal is very much in line with her focus on climate change throughout the course of her campaign. Environmental issues were one of her top priorities from the start, which increased her appeal with young voters and helped her become one of the youngest world leaders at only 37.
Reaching zero net emissions would require overcoming challenging issues like eliminating fossil fuels in vehicles. Ardern hasn’t outlined a plan for reaching this goal, but has suggested creating an independent commission to aid in the transition to a lower carbon economy.
She also set a goal of doubling the number of trees the country plants per year to 100 million, a goal she says is “absolutely achievable” using land that is marginal for farming animals.
Greenpeace New Zealand climate and energy campaigner Amanda Larsson believes that phasing out fossil fuels should be a priority for the new prime minister. She says that in order to reach zero net emissions, Ardern “must prioritize closing down coal, putting a moratorium on new fossil fuel plants, building more wind infrastructure, and opening the playing field for household and community solar.”
A worldwide shift to renewable energy
Addressing climate change is becoming more of a priority around the world and many governments are assessing how they can reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and switch to environmentally-friendly energy sources. Sustainable energy is becoming an increasingly profitable industry, giving companies more of an incentive to invest.
Ardern isn’t alone in her climate concerns, as other prominent world leaders like Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron have made renewable energy a focus of their campaigns. She isn’t the first to set ambitious goals, either. Sweden and Norway share New Zealand’s goal of net zero emissions by 2045 and 2030, respectively.
Scotland already sources more than half of its electricity from renewable sources and aims to fully transition by 2020, while France announced plans in September to stop fossil fuel production by 2040. This would make it the first country to do so, and the first to end the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles.
Many parts of the world still rely heavily on coal, but if these countries are successful in phasing out fossil fuels and transitioning to renewable resources, it could serve as a turning point. As other world leaders see that switching to sustainable energy is possible – and profitable – it could be the start of a worldwide shift towards environmentally-friendly energy.
How Going Green Can Save A Company Money
What is going green?
Going green means to live life in a way that is environmentally friendly for an entire population. It is the conservation of energy, water, and air. Going green means using products and resources that will not contaminate or pollute the air. It means being educated and well informed about the surroundings, and how to best protect them. It means recycling products that may not be biodegradable. Companies, as well as people, that adhere to going green can help to ensure a safer life for humanity.
The first step in going green
There are actually no step by step instructions for going green. The only requirement needed is making the decision to become environmentally conscious. It takes a caring attitude, and a willingness to make the change. It has been found that companies have improved their profit margins by going green. They have saved money on many of the frivolous things they they thought were a necessity. Besides saving money, companies are operating more efficiently than before going green. Companies have become aware of their ecological responsibility by pursuing the knowledge needed to make decisions that would change lifestyles and help sustain the earth’s natural resources for present and future generations.
Making needed changes within the company
After making the decision to go green, there are several things that can be changed in the workplace. A good place to start would be conserving energy used by electrical appliances. First, turning off the computer will save over the long run. Just letting it sleep still uses energy overnight. Turn off all other appliances like coffee maker, or anything that plugs in. Pull the socket from the outlet to stop unnecessary energy loss. Appliances continue to use electricity although they are switched off, and not unplugged. Get in the habit of turning off the lights whenever you leave a room. Change to fluorescent light bulbs, and lighting throughout the building. Have any leaks sealed on the premises to avoid the escape of heat or air.
Reducing the common paper waste
Modern technologies and state of the art equipment, and tools have almost eliminated the use of paper in the office. Instead of sending out newsletters, brochures, written memos and reminders, you can now do all of these and more by technology while saving on the use of paper. Send out digital documents and emails to communicate with staff and other employees. By using this virtual bookkeeping technique, you will save a bundle on paper. When it is necessary to use paper for printing purposes or other services, choose the already recycled paper. It is smartly labeled and easy to find in any office supply store. It is called the Post Consumer Waste paper, or PCW paper. This will show that your company is dedicated to the preservation of natural resources. By using PCW paper, everyone helps to save the trees which provides and emits many important nutrients into the atmosphere.
Make money by spreading the word
Companies realize that consumers like to buy, or invest in whatever the latest trend may be. They also cater to companies that are doing great things for the quality of life of all people. People want to know that the companies that they cater to are doing their part for the environment and ecology. By going green, you can tell consumers of your experiences with helping them and communities be eco-friendly. This is a sound public relations technique to bring revenue to your brand. Boost the impact that your company makes on the environment. Go green, save and make money while essentially preserving what is normally taken for granted. The benefits of having a green company are enormous for consumers as well as the companies that engage in the process.
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