YEP Says, October 15: Home truths on a housing crisis built over many decades

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...and why courts are out of step over tacking city loan sharks

THE problems affecting the housing market have not emerged overnight. They are a direct legacy of the failure of successive governments to address fundamental issues.

The greatest challenge lies in providing the number of new homes that are necessary in order to meet demand generally.

Today’s Home Truths report by the National Housing Federation warns that Yorkshire risks facing a shortfall of over 200,000 homes in less than two decades.

The consequences if those homes are not built are dire – and not just for first-time buyers who are already struggling to get on the housing ladder.

A shortage of new entrants to the market will reduce the chances of homeowners further up the ladder moving on.

That is not to say that they can built anywhere. There would be understandable outrage if large tracts of Yorkshire’s green belt were developed.

It is why private developers must first be directed to brownfield sites and forced, to increase their quota of affordable housing.

After decades of inaction, the solution to this looming crisis will involve governments working with developers, landlords, planners and the rest of the housing sector over the long term.

But it is a journey that must now be embarked upon, before it is too late.

Courts out of step over tacking city loan sharks

IF Leeds is going to get a grip on the problem of loan sharks who prey on the vulnerable the efforts of the authorities must be backed by the legal system.

After two such lenders walked free from court, it’s clear that this simply isn’t happening.

Unless the courts send out the message that those whose sharp practices plunge people hopelessly into debt will be punished accordingly then they will carry on regardless and keep inflicting their misery.

With Christmas approaching, a time when many can be tempted to take out a dodgy loan, it’s essential that the authorities work together to ensure that they are singing from the same hymn sheet.

Bernard Kenny, the man who risked his own life to try and save MP Jo Cox, has died.

YEP Says: Bernard Kenny, a real national hero