Local housing provider supports call for more housing as homelessness increases
Staffordshire Housing Association is supporting a call for action following a new report by the National Housing Federation (NHF) which shows that thousands of people across Stoke and Staffordshire are struggling for a home they can afford as the West Midlands faces a massive shortage of new housing.
The report, 'Home Truths: West Midlands 2012', found that we are only building half of the homes we need in the West Midlands.
This shortfall of homes in the West Midlands is pushing up house prices and private rents, making it increasingly difficult for people to afford to rent their own home, let alone buy one.
As a result of the housing crisis homelessness rose 27 percent across Stoke and Staffordshire over the last two years.
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The report also found that:
· Across Stoke and Staffordshire there were 25,221 households on housing waiting lists in 2011, up 46 percent since 2001.
· Rents in the private sector are predicted to increase by nearly 60 percent over the next 10 years.
· The average home in Staffordshire costs £168,818 - more than eight times the average local wage of £20,067.
· The gross annual income needed for an average mortgage in Staffordshire is £36,175.
Gemma Duggan, West Midlands lead manager for the NHF, said: 'We're only building half the homes we need in the West Midlands and the shortfall is having a huge impact on people from all walks of life and Staffordshire is no exception.'
The NHF is calling on the Government and local politicians to work with the housing industry to tackle the crisis. But public support for building the right homes in the right places is also crucial. The NHF is launching a new campaign, Yes to Homes, to give local people the chance to show councillors and politicians that new homes matter.
Diane Lea, Chief Executive of the Staffordshire Housing Group and a member of the NHF West Midlands Regional Committee, said, 'We have seen waiting lists rise over the last few years as local people struggle to afford to buy a home. The rise in homelessness uncovered by the report is deeply worrying and we urge people to join with us and the NHF in saying 'Yes to Homes'. People can do this by visiting www.yestohomes.co.uk to let their local councillor or MP know that affordable housing is crucial.'