Call for action as West Yorkshire faces homes shortfall

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PROSPECTIVE HOMEOWNERS across West Yorkshire face a further struggle to get on to the property ladder as demand outstrips supply, according to a new report.

The National Housing Federation has blamed a lack of affordable homes for the yawning gap between wages and the cost of a house, which is pricing residents out of the market.

Figures show that the
 average house price in West Yorkshire is £154,262, while the average gross income is £23,494 - more than £10,000 lower than the sum needed to secure an 80 per cent mortgage on such a property.

Young professionals and families are expected to be worst-affected by the crisis, laid bare in the Home Truths report.

Private rents across Yorkshire and Humber are placing an increasing strain on household budgets, according to the NHF, which represents housing associations in England.

In West Yorkshire the average monthly private sector rent is now £553, higher than the regional average. Leeds the highest in Yorkshire at £819.

And statistics show 16.5 per cent of residents in work in Leeds, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield are forced to claim housing benefit.

Daniel Klemm, the NHF’s external affairs manager in Yorkshire and Humber, said: “The housing crisis in Yorkshire and Humber is wide-ranging, and is different in Hull, Harrogate and Halifax.

“It has been decades in the making and short-term initiatives aren’t going to fix it for this generation, or the next.

“Demographic changes, industrial change and austerity have all contributed to the crisis we now face.

“However, it has primarily been created by a failure of successive governments to tackle the country’s major housing challenges, whether these are about building more homes or regeneration.”

Experts have warned Yorkshire and Humber will be left with a 200,000-home shortfall by 2031 unless political parties commit to a long-term strategy ahead of next year’s general election.

“Over the next 20 years 369,000 households are expected to form in the region and it is not building enough new homes to keep up with demand,” added Mr Klemm.