Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Greater Manchester families face total of 274,190 years of waiting list misery

It would take 274,190 years to clear the backlog of Greater Manchester families waiting for social housing because of the broken housing market, the National Housing Federation revealed today.

The Home Truths report paints a bleak picture of Greater Manchester’s housing market where families can no longer afford to buy or rent homes. 106,652 households are now languishing on social housing waiting lists, as spiralling mortgage deposits and private rents push affordable housing out of reach for many.

With the average Greater Manchester wage standing at £19,932, an average house costs 7.7 times the average income.

Jon Longden, the National Housing Federation’s lead manager for the North West, commented: ‘Caught in an impossible can’t buy/can’t rent dilemma, families face life-changing years on social housing waiting lists. With the lowest number of new homes for 90 years, the only things we are building up are long term problems for schooling, health and jobs.

‘The North West desperately needs a strong social housing sector to help economic development. The Government must act quickly so more affordable homes are built and empty homes are brought back into use before the North’s broken housing market gets any worse.’

Meanwhile, average rents in the private sector are set to soar in the next five years by 18.7% across the North West.

Housing associations are doing their best to make a difference. In 2010/11 they built 4,120 new affordable homes, including 442 low cost home ownership properties, and they now house one in every seven North West households.

Yet more needs to be done. Only 9,250 new homes in the private and social sectors were built across the North West in 2010/11 – providing homes for just 43% of the new households estimated to form in the region every year.

The National Housing Federation is calling on the Government to fix the North West’s broken housing market. The Government is being urged to renew its commitment to building new homes at scale and to restore the £300 million annual funding to regenerate inner-city neighbourhoods across the region. This will support housing which is a key driver of economic activity across the North.

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