Massive shortage of social housing across the district

THERE are not enough social houses in North Somerset – that is the stark message in a new report by the National Housing Federation.

The number of households waiting for a council home in the district shot up by 19.2 per cent between 2010 and 2011, and the federation is warning that unless tough action is taken to tackle the problem, that rise is set to increase.

According the Home Truths report released by the federation, the entire South West faces a massive shortage of social housing.

Jenny Allen, South West lead manager of the federation, said: “High house prices, rising rents and the fastest-growing waiting lists in the country – these symptoms of the housing crisis are having a huge impact on people across the South West.

The report shows that in 2011 there were a total of 7,939 households on the waiting list in North Somerset, up from 6,661 the year before.

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The report also reveals that the average house price in North Somerset in 2011 was �213,848 – more than nine times as much as the average wage of �23,228.

Mrs Allen and the federation are calling on authorities such as North Somerset Council and the Government tO act by releasing publicly-owned land to housing associations, while also requesting that the Government provides certainty on its long-term plans for investing in social housing, to allow them to plan beyond the end of the current programme in 2015.

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Mrs Allen added: “Now the whole housing sector must take a long-term view to tackle the shortage of homes.

“Housing associations are ready and able to play their part by delivering more homes but a ready supply of public land is needed to make a real difference.”

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