The Residential Gap
THE RESIDENTIAL GAP
Laurie Taylor presents a special series of three programmes to examine the social gaps which most concern researchers in today’s divided Britain: the residential gap, the generation gap and the class gap. Laurie is joined by two policy makers throughout the series, the Conservative MP David Willetts and the Labour MP Frank Field to explore the statistics and cross examine the specialists who, in this first part looking at the residential gap, are leading academic researchers Professor Danny Dorling and Professor Susan Smith. Seventy percent of the UK population are now owner-occupiers living in their own accommodation, the highest proportion in the world. The figure was ten percent at the beginning of the twentieth century. As wealth is increasingly invested in housing, and new credit provision allows owner occupiers to draw on equity for key stages in their lives, what impact is this having on people who rent? Will it really be possible to provide homes for key workers that enable them to join the housing economy or – as that economy continues to grow - will the gap between owners and renters become crucial?