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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of housing shortages from the real exam.

It’s kind of a tricky question and not a very common topic.

A very similar question came up on the test a few years ago, so it is good to get some practice with this unusual topic!

Be sure to check out my courses and corrections as well!

Dave

Before reading, listen and take notes on my sample answer:

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay: Housing Shortages (Real Past IELTS Exam/Test)

There are severe social consequences to housing shortages in cities and only the government can solve these problems.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Real IELTS Exam/Test

Many people today feel that limited housing in urban areas can only be seriously addressed by governmental action. In my opinion, private investiture in this area will always be low so governments bear the burden of responsibility.

Only limited support for housing problems will come from the private sector. Large real estate and construction firms are mainly motivated to generate the greatest profits and will therefore largely cater projects towards a wealthy clientele. This means building large apartments and homes that likely replace smaller homes, exacerbating any existing housing crisis. In New York City, for example, ambitious developers knocked down government housing projects and built luxury apartments and brownstone homes. These efforts push poor residents out of the city and further away from their work and engender a variety of social problems.

The only realistic solution for housing shortages in major urban areas in governmental intervention. Governments can either build themselves or accept bids from construction companies. There are inspirational examples of public works projects in cities all around the world. The typical process is that the government will delineate an undeveloped or poorly planned area for new homes and accept bids from private companies. Since these areas are unavailable for unregulated commercial exploitation, the government holds power over the private companies. Once these projects are completed, they can house thousands of residents affordably, which allows occupants to find quality jobs in the city and eventually move out of these housing developments.

In conclusion, the government is the major catalyst in all housing solutions in cities. Governments ought to prioritise these efforts before cities become too gentrified and this hinders upwards social mobility.

Analysis

1. Many people today feel that limited housing in urban areas can only be seriously addressed by governmental action. 2. In my opinion, private investiture in this area will always be low so governments bear the burden of responsibility.

  1. Paraphrase the overall topic for the essay.
  2. Write a clear opinion – choose a side!

1. Only limited support for housing problems will come from the private sector. 2. Large real estate and construction firms are mainly motivated to generate the greatest profits and will therefore largely cater projects towards a wealthy clientele. 3. This means building large apartments and homes that likely replace smaller homes, exacerbating any existing housing crisis. 4. In New York City, for example, ambitious developers knocked down government housing projects and built luxury apartments and brownstone homes. 5. These efforts push poor residents out of the city and further away from their work and engender a variety of social problems.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end of it.
  2. Begin developing or explaining your main idea.
  3. Continue to develop it with specific details.
  4. Here I give an example of a real city – be as specific as possible.
  5. Conclude with the result of your example.

1. The only realistic solution for housing shortages in major urban areas in governmental intervention. 2. Governments can either build themselves or accept bids from construction companies. 3. There are inspirational examples of public works projects in cities all around the world. 4. The typical process is that the government will delineate an undeveloped or poorly planned area for new homes and accept bids from private companies. 5. Since these areas are unavailable for unregulated commercial exploitation, the government holds power over the private companies. 6. Once these projects are completed, they can house thousands of residents affordably, which allows occupants to find quality jobs in the city and eventually move out of these housing developments.

  1. Another topic sentence with a main idea at the end.
  2. Start developing your main idea.
  3. You don’t always need a specific example if it is a common occurrence.
  4. Develop the process in detail.
  5. The more nuanced your argument, the higher your score.
  6. State the result again to conclude the paragraph.

1. In conclusion, the government is the major catalyst in all housing solutions in cities. 2. Governments ought to prioritise these efforts before cities become too gentrified and this hinders upwards social mobility.

  1. Repeat your overall opinion.
  2. Add in a final detail or thought for full marks from the IELTS examiner.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

Many people today feel that limited housing in urban areas can only be seriously addressed by governmental action. In my opinion, private investiture in this area will always be low so governments bear the burden of responsibility.

Only limited support for housing problems will come from the private sector. Large real estate and construction firms are mainly motivated to generate the greatest profits and will therefore largely cater projects towards a wealthy clientele. This means building large apartments and homes that likely replace smaller homes, exacerbating any existing housing crisis. In New York City, for exampe, ambitious developers knocked down government housing projects and built luxury apartments and brownstone homes. These efforts pushe poor residents out of the city and further away from their work and engender a variety of social problems.

The only realistic solution for housing shortages in major urban areas in governmental intervention. Governments can either build themselves or accept bids from construction companies. There are inspirational examples of public works projects in cities all around the world. The typical process is that the government will delineate an undeveloped or poorly planned area for new homes and accept bids from private companies. Since these areas are unavailable for unregulated commercial exploitation, the government holds power over the private companies. Once these projects are completed, they can house thousands of residents affordably, which allows occupants to find quality jobs in the city and eventually move out of these housing developments.

In conclusion, the government is the major catalyst in all housing solutions in cities. Governments ought to prioritise these efforts before cities become too gentrified and this hinders upwards social mobility.

Answers

limited housing not enough places to live

urban areas cities

seriously addressed dealt with well

governmental action steps taken by the government

private investiture companies

bear the burden of responsibility have a duty towards

limited support not much help

private sector companies/corporations

firms companies

generate the greatest profits make the most money

largely cater projects towards a wealthy clientele mostly just care about rich projects

likely replace smaller homes probably get rid of small houses/apartments

exacerbating making worse

existing housing crisis already there problems with housing

to a great degree significantly

ambitious developers knocked down companies looking to make money destroyed

housing projects where lots of people live, tends to be poorer people

built luxury apartments construct nice homes

brownstone homes nice homes made from a brown material

pushes poor residents out of the city gentrifies

further away from their work not near their jobs

engenders creates, leads to

realistic solution practical resolution

governmental intervention governments stepping in

accept bids take offers

inspirational examples strong instances of

public works projects built for the public

typical process normal way

delineate allow for, circumsribe

unavailable for unregulated commercial exploitation cannot be developed for profit

holds power over controls

house verb meaning to provide a house for

affordably cheaply

occupants residents

major catalyst biggest driver behind

prioritise consider most important

gentrified getting richer and pushing out poorer residents

hinders upwards social mobility stops people from getting richer

Pronunciation

ˈlɪmɪtɪd ˈhaʊzɪŋ 
ˈɜːbən ˈeərɪəz 
ˈsɪərɪəsli əˈdrɛst 
ˌgʌvənˈmɛntl ˈækʃ(ə)n
ˈpraɪvɪt ɪnˈvɛstɪʧə 
beə ðə ˈbɜːdn ɒv rɪsˌpɒnsəˈbɪlɪti.
ˈlɪmɪtɪd səˈpɔːt 
ˈpraɪvɪt ˈsɛktə
fɜːmz 
ˈʤɛnəreɪt ðə ˈgreɪtɪst ˈprɒfɪts 
ˈlɑːʤli ˈkeɪtə ˈprɒʤɛkts təˈwɔːdz ə ˈwɛlθi ˌkliːɑːnˈtɛl
ˈlaɪkli rɪˈpleɪs ˈsmɔːlə həʊmz
ɛksˈæsə(ː)beɪtɪŋ 
ɪgˈzɪstɪŋ ˈhaʊzɪŋ ˈkraɪsɪs
tuː ə greɪt dɪˈgriː 
æmˈbɪʃəs dɪˈvɛləpəz nɒkt daʊn 
ˈhaʊzɪŋ ˈprɒʤɛkts 
bɪlt ˈlʌkʃəri əˈpɑːtmənts 
ˈbraʊnˌstəʊn həʊmz
ˈpʊʃɪz pʊə ˈrɛzɪdənts aʊt ɒv ðə ˈsɪti 
ˈfɜːðər əˈweɪ frɒm ðeə wɜːk 
ɪnˈʤɛndəz 
rɪəˈlɪstɪk səˈluːʃən 
ˌgʌvənˈmɛntl ˌɪntə(ː)ˈvɛnʃən
əkˈsɛpt bɪdz 
ˌɪnspəˈreɪʃən(ə)l ɪgˈzɑːmplz 
ˈpʌblɪk wɜːks ˈprɒʤɛkts 
ˈtɪpɪk(ə)l ˈprəʊsɛs 
dɪˈlɪnɪeɪt 
ˌʌnəˈveɪləbl fɔːr ʌnˈrɛgjʊleɪtɪd kəˈmɜːʃəl ˌɛksplɔɪˈteɪʃən
həʊldz ˈpaʊər ˈəʊvə 
haʊs 
əˈfɔːdəbliː
ˈɒkjʊpənts 
ˈmeɪʤə ˈkætəlɪst 
praɪˈɒrɪˌtaɪz 
ˈʤɛntrɪfraɪd
ˈhaɪndəz ˈʌpwədz ˈsəʊʃəl məʊˈbɪlɪti

Listen and repeat:

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Many people today feel that l______________g in u_____________s can only be s___________________d by g__________________________n. In my opinion, p____________________________e in this area will always be low so governments b________________________________y.

Only l__________________t for housing problems will come from the p________________r. Large real estate and construction f__________s are mainly motivated to g________________________________s and will therefore l________________________________________e. This means building large apartments and homes that l___________________________s, e_______________________g any e________________________________s. This has happened t________________________e in New York City where a_________________________________n government h______________________s and b________________________________s and b__________________________s. This p________________________________y and f__________________________k and e___________________s a variety of social problems.

The only r__________________n for housing shortages in major urban areas in g______________________________n. Governments can either build themselves or a__________________s from construction companies. There are i______________________s of p________________________________s in cities all around the world. The t____________________s is that the government will d__________________e an undeveloped or poorly planned area for new homes and accept bids from private companies. Since these areas are u_____________________________________________________________n, the government h___________________r the private companies. Once these projects are completed, they can h________e thousands of residents a______________y, which allows o______________s to find quality jobs in the city and eventually move out of these housing developments.

In conclusion, the government is the m______________t in all housing solutions in cities. Governments ought to p________________e these efforts before cities become too g______________d and this h___________________________________y.

Listen and check:

Listening Practice

Watch a specific housing crisis problem in the short video below:

Reading Practice

Read here about how going green can help with the housing crisis:

https://www.theatlantic.com/sponsored/citi-2018/how-sustainable-development-has-taken-root-nationwide/1969/

Speaking Practice

Answer the questions below from the real speaking exam:

Where you Live

My sample speaking for these questions is here.

  1. Where do you live at the moment?
  2. What do you like about your neighborhood?
  3. Are there any parks where you live?

Writing Practice

Write about the following related topic and then read my sample answer:

Some believe that because everyone needs a place to live, governments should provide houses for those who are too poor to afford their own.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Real Past IELTS Exam/Test

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