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New research has shown that young people in the UK are living with their parents for longer than in the past. Data from the think tank Civitas, an institute which studies civil society, shows a correlation between the cost of housing in an area of the UK and the number of young people still living at home. Areas in the south of England such as London have the highest portion of young people living at home, with areas in the North reporting lower percentages. In the whole of the UK, the number of young people living on their own has fallen dramatically.

The UK has seen a drop in the number of single person households, this has been driven almost completely by a drop in young people living alone. The number of 25-44 year-olds living alone has dropped from a height of 1.83m to 1.34m today. 16-24 year-olds living alone has fallen from a height of 274,000 to 148,000 today.

While single person households have fallen, the number of 20-34 year-olds living with their parents has increased substantially. Between 2003 and 2017, the number of 20-34 year-olds living with their parents has increased by 1 million, from 2.4m to 3.4m. The biggest increase was with 23-year-olds living with parents. The percentage of 23-year-olds living with their parents increased from 37% to 49%.

There is a housing crisis in the UK. Housing is scarce and the houses that are available are often too expensive for the people who need them. It is estimated that the UK needs to build 3 million more houses over the next 20 years in order to fix the crisis. However, the damage is already being done to young people struggling today.

Young people in the UK are finding themselves unable to leave their parent’s house because of rising rent and house prices. In 1996, house prices cost roughly 3x the average yearly income of a UK worker. Now, that ratio has risen to 8x the average wage which has also caused rents to skyrocket. In 1996, the average cost of rent was £328 per month; in 2017, it was £921.

There is no clear solution to the housing crisis in the UK, particularly for the young people who need cheaper housing right now. Young people are not able to receive the same advantages of their parent’s generation because they no longer exist. The same situation can be seen in countries around the world. The recent yellow vest protests in France were sparked due to the rising cost of living in the country. In France, they have resorted to decreasing taxes in order to ease the burden on regular citizens. The UK government has not indicated whether they would be prepared to do something similar there.

Difficult words

Think Tank (n): An organisation which researches topics concerning society.

Correlation (n): A connection between two things.

Dramatically (adv): Something that has a strong effect, relating to drama.

Household (n): A house and the number of people who live there.

Substantially (adv): A great amount.

Scarce (adj): Not enough.

Ratio (n): The relationship between two amounts.

Skyrocket (v): To increase very rapidly.

Resort (v): To do something to resolve a problem.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English:

American English: 

Match the Synonym!

1. Think Tank A. Connection
2. Correlation B. Insufficient
3. Dramatically C. Relationship between 2 numbers.
4. Household D. Large amount
5. Substantially E. Strong effect
6. Scarce F. Research organisation
7. Ratio G. Rise quickly,
8. Skyrocket H. Turn to a solution
9. Resort I. Home

True or False?

1. The UK’s north has the highest amount of young people living with their parents. T / F

2. The number of young people living on their own has risen dramatically. T / F

3. The housing crisis in the UK is not affecting many people.  T / F

4. There not enough homes for people in the UK. T / F

5. The UK needs to build less than 1 million homes to fix the crisis. T / F

6. Older people are struggling the most from the housing crisis. T / F

7. Rising rent prices are making it difficult for people to leave their parent’s homes. T / F

8. In 1996, the average rent price was less than half of today’s average rent prices. T / F

9. There are many fast solutions for young people who need cheap housing now. T / F

10. France has been decreasing taxes to help people with the cost of living. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. single person / in / a drop / households / The UK / has seen / the number / of

2. housing / the / There / is / crisis / in / UK / a

3. more / build / to / that / houses / is / 3 million / It / the UK / estimated / needs

4. roughly / average / In / 1996, / house prices / yearly income / the / cost / 3x

5. not / to / advantages / are / the / receive / able / same / Young people

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English:

American English: 

Crisis Scarce Institute
Reporting Driven Burden
Rent Increase Sparked

New research has shown that young people in the UK are living with their parents for longer than in the past. Data from the think tank Civitas, an _____________ which studies civil society, shows a correlation between the cost of housing in an area of the UK and the number of young people still living at home. Areas in the south of England such as London have the highest portion of young people living at home, with areas in the North _____________ lower percentages. In the whole of the UK, the number of young people living on their own has fallen dramatically.

The UK has seen a drop in the number of single person households, this has been _________ almost completely by a drop in young people living alone. The number of 25-44 year-olds living alone has dropped from a height of 1.83m to 1.34m today. 16-24 year-olds living alone has fallen from a height of 274,000 to 148,000 today.

While single person households have fallen, the number of 20-34 year-olds living with their parents has increased substantially. Between 2003 and 2017, the number of 20-34 year-olds living with their parents has increased by 1 million, from 2.4m to 3.4m. The biggest _______________ was with 23-year-olds living with parents. The percentage of 23-year-olds living with their parents increased from 37% to 49%.

There is a housing crisis in the UK. Housing is ___________ and the houses that are available are often too expensive for the people who need them. It is estimated that the UK needs to build 3 million more houses over the next 20 years in order to fix the _________. However, the damage is already being done to young people struggling today.

Young people in the UK are finding themselves unable to leave their parent’s house because of rising _________ and house prices. In 1996, house prices cost roughly 3x the average yearly income of a UK worker. Now, that ratio has risen to 8x the average wage which has also caused rents to skyrocket. In 1996, the average cost of rent was £328 per month; in 2017, it was £921.

There is no clear solution to the housing crisis in the UK, particularly for the young people who need cheaper housing right now. Young people are not able to receive the same advantages of their parent’s generation because they no longer exist. The same situation can be seen in countries around the world. The recent yellow vest protests in France were ____________ due to the rising cost of living in the country. In France, they have resorted to decreasing taxes in order to ease the ___________ on regular citizens. The UK government has not indicated whether they would be prepared to do something similar there.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. Is there a problem with the cost of housing in your country?
5. What is the average age people leave their parent’s home in your country?
6. Is it easy for young people to leave their parent’s home in your country?
7. Does your government provide housing for low-income people?
8. Do you or would you like to own your own home?
9. Do you pay attention to the housing market?
10. Is there a housing shortage in your country? If not, do you think there could be in the future?
11. How can housing be made more affordable?
12. Have you noticed the cost of living rising in your country?
13. Excluding housing, is there an aspect of living that you think is too expensive in your country?
14. How old were you when you left your parent’s home?
15. Is it common for people to live alone in your country?
16. Have you ever lived alone?
17. Is it more common to live in a house or an apartment in your country?
18. Do you prefer to live in an apartment or a house? Why?
19. Do wages match the cost of living in your country?
20. Do people prefer to rent or buy in your country?