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Unfinished Business: The ownership agenda, thirty years on

Publication Details

Unfinished Business: The ownership agenda, thirty years on, is a ResPublica Essay published on Monday 5th October 2015 by ResPublica and trade body Co-operatives UK. It finds that more people are renting their homes from private landlords than ever before.

The essay reveals that thirty years ago 61% of the UK’s households owned their own home, and that while the number increased through the 1990s, it has dropped off from the year 2000 and stands once again at 61%.

The essay coincides with a landmark speech by Margaret Thatcher to the 1985 Conservative Party Conference thirty years ago, in which she set out an aspiration for an economy over which ownership is shared widely – “where three out of four families own their home; where owning shares is as common as having a car; where families have a degree of independence their forefathers could only dream about.”

The main shift in the ownership of the UK’s housing stock is around rented accommodation, with the number of households renting from private landlords doubling in thirty years. In 1985 30% of households rented from public landlords, and 9% from private landlords. Today the emphasis has changed, with 22% renting from private landlords and 9% from public.

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  • Ed Mayo

    Secretary General of Co-operatives UK

    Ed Mayo is Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, the membership network for co-operative businesses. He is a long-term co-operator and has a track record of innovation and impact in his work to together economic life and social justice. Ed was...

    Ed Mayo

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