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We back NHF call to build more affordable homes

BROMFORD Homes is backing the latest National Housing Federation call to build more affordable homes in the region.

The "Yes to Homes" call is given fresh impetus with the publication today (Friday) of Home Truths 2014: West Midlands, a hard-hitting NHF report that reveals the region's housing market is now at breaking point.

Less than half the homes needed are being built each year, says the report, and the shortage makes housing more and more unaffordable in the West Midlands.

Key findings highlighted by the report include:

  • House prices soared 56% between 2002 and 2012, with the average home now costing nearly nine times the average wage at £173,378
  • Private rents in the region have risen even faster than house prices, soaring 61% between 2002 and 2012, and are set to rise another 39% by 2020. In some local authority areas such as Stratford-on-Avon, rents have risen by around 7% in the last year alone − up in that case to an average of £835 a month
  • It costs £34,676 just to put down a deposit on the average open market home in the West Midlands.

Bromford Homes Head of Sales Alan Bradley supports the NHF, saying: "It's clear to anyone reading Home Truths 2014: West Midlands that the region needs more affordable homes. Open market property prices are unaffordable for so many people on ordinary incomes and the problem is getting worse as wages lag behind the rise in housing costs.

"We know from our own experience that shared ownership homes are part of the answer − this year alone we've helped almost 200 shared ownership buyers to get onto the property ladder. But, of course, it's a much wider problem and that's why we support the NHF Yes to Homes campaign."

Gemma Duggan, West Midlands external affairs manager for the NHF, urges local people to contact local councillors and say "Yes to Homes".

"High house prices, rising rents and comparatively low wages in the West Midlands are not only making life extremely difficult for people living and working in the region, but they are also affecting employers and businesses and risk holding back economic growth," she says.

"We need Local Enterprise Partnerships to work with local councils, housing associations and others to take a strategic lead on getting more homes built at the right price in the right places, which will help revitalise communities and create jobs. Local people also have an important role to play. Those who want more housing in the West Midlands need to contact local councillors and say Yes to Homes.

"With more support, housing associations across the West Midlands can be real catalysts for change for local communities. They are in it for the long term and can actively drive forward a balanced economic recovery."

To find out more about Home Truths 2014: West Midlands and how the federation worked out its statistics, visit the NHF website. You can also find out more at Yes to Homes.

21 February 2014