IELTS Band 9 essay, topic: Today’s governments struggle to create enough housing for increasing populations while protecting the environment (opinion)

This is a model response to a Writing Task 2 topic from High Scorer’s Choice IELTS Practice Tests book series (reprinted with permission). This answer is likely to score IELTS Band 9.

Set 2 Academic book, Practice Test 7

Writing Task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

One of the major problems that faces today’s governments is creating enough satisfactory housing for their increasing populations whilst still trying to protect the environment.

Discuss this statement and give your opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your knowledge or experience.

You should write at least 250 words.


In a world with an ever-growing population, providing housing is one of the crucial tasks of all governments. At the same time, however, the environment has to be protected from too much destruction and deforestation. Different solutions have been created to solve these problems. One significant solution could be increasing the height of buildings.

When looking at the skyline of metropolitan cities, skyscrapers are becoming increasingly visible. The reason for this is simple: housing has to be provided, while the environment should suffer the least amount possible. Decreasing the building footprints of houses and therefore the destruction of environment, while increasing the height, is an effective solution in overcoming this dilemma. This resolution also has its faults though, as increasing height also means that sunlight reaching the streets will decrease and that housing will be built more densely in order to save space.

Another possible solution is to increase building costs to pressure the population into living in smaller areas, which would save space. As this impacts members of the community unevenly depending on their wealth, this would encourage unequal living standards and conflicts as a result of this. Therefore, this is not a plausible solution to the problem.

In my opinion, finding the perfect way to minimise environmental damage while increasing housing is a problem to which there is no simple solution. Many governments are currently relying on height to solve the problem, but this is not attractive to many people. Any solution chosen should be one that causes the fewest problems.

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