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Families Can Only Afford 1 in 10 North Yorkshire Homes


11:26am 25th June 2014

Families in North Yorkshire can only afford around one in ten homes in the county, according to new research by housing charity Shelter.

In York, just one percent of homes are affordable to a family on the average wage. York Council leader James Alexander has used the study to call for more land to be made available for housing. He told Minster FM:

“Shelter’s research articulates the stark reality of York’s homes crisis. Due to a lack of supply of new homes stoked up by political opposition to such developments, York has the lowest availability of affordable homes in the region.  Whilst the Yorkshire and Humber has on average 31% of homes affordable for a couple with children, York has only 1%. This is why many York families are being priced out of their own city. Since Labour won control of the council our actions has brought forward a dramatic increase in the number of planning consents and development on brownfield sites has started, but we still need an increase in land supply for homes and employment to stop a generation being lost to ‘generation rent’. Every York hardworking family should be able to live in a decent home they can afford and this shouldn’t be a privilege of the few”.

York Conservative leader Chris Steward has criticised affordable housing targets for limiting the ability of housebuilders to construct homes. He said:

"The research from Shelter shows how much of a failure the affordable housing policies of Labour and the Liberal Democrats before them have been with their ideological dogma and undeliverable targets meaning housebuilders have been unable to build enough homes for the lowest incomes. We agree there is a need for many more homes across York to house our residents, but the unique nature of York as the city residents know and love must also be protected."

We're waiting to hear back from York's Liberal Democrats on the issue.

Across the rest of the Minster FM area, Hambleton and Ryedale were second and third worst for affordability after York, with only 2.3% and 2.4% of homes affordable to families. In Selby district 11% of homes were affordable and in the East Riding it was a quarter of homes, compared to a Yorkshire average of 31%.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, which carried out the research said: “When a family looking to buy their first home searches a whole town for a place to live and finds nothing they can afford, it's clear we’re not just facing a housing shortage any more: it’s a full-blown drought.

“As the pool of affordable properties shrinks ever smaller, thousands of people are being forced to wave goodbye to their dreams of a home of their own – even those who’ve been able to put aside a large deposit. It’s a bitter pill to swallow when we know that politicians can turn the tide on our housing shortage in a single parliament.

“Our failure to build more homes is leaving a whole generation of young people with no choice but to remain trapped in expensive and unstable private renting, or stuck in their childho od bedrooms for years to come, no matter how hard they work or save. The only way to bring house prices back within reach is to fill the gap between the homes we have and the homes we need. 

“Help to Buy or tweaks to planning rules will only ever be sticking plaster solutions. Bringing a stable home back within reach will take bolder action like helping small local builders to find the finance they need to get building, and investing in a new generation of part rent, part buy homes. What we need right now is for politicians to roll up their sleeves and make stable homes for the next generation a top priority.”

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