Housing costs deter 20% of people from having children

More than one in four of those who have delayed becoming parents say they have been doing so for more than five years

One in five 31-44 year olds who don’t have children are delaying starting a family because of the lack of affordable housing, claims a new report.

The figures, from a YouGov survey commissioned by housing charity Shelter, represent a 63% increase since 2009.

Shelter is calling on the Government to take determined action to stop a generation being held back by the shortage of affordable homes.

Kay Boycott, Director of Communications, Policy and Campaigns at Shelter, said: "It’s heartbreaking that so many people are being forced to put their lives on hold in this way. The Government has a responsibility to act now to ensure that today’s young people and the generation after them aren’t denied something as basic as a proper home to raise their children in."

Netmums founder Sally Russell added: "One of the most basic requirements to raise a family is to have a family home, yet this is becoming increasingly unattainable for many people today. Sadly for a number of these, leaving it too late means they may never be able to have children. For others, it could mean both parents forced to work full time when their baby is tiny just to keep a roof over their heads."