Jobs lost as Yorkshire misses house building target

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Yorkshire’s economy is missing out on a £259m boost as experts warn the region needs to build an extra 6,000 more homes a year just to keep up with demand.

Officials at the National Housing Federation today say 5,602 full-time jobs would be created across Yorkshire if the region was supported in building the 7,100 homes it needs to keep pace with a growing population.

With just 950 new homes a year entering the regional market, the Federation has a warned of an affordable housing crisis for the region if politicians do not act.

In rural Yorkshire alone there is a need for some 1,506 new affordable homes, worth £54m to the local economy.

By far the biggest demand is in the Leeds city region area, where the Federation says there is a need for an extra 4,510 homes.

Rob Warm, head of member relations at the National Housing Federation, said it was vital that a pledge to build more houses featured in all the party manifestoes at the upcoming General Election.

He said: “There are simply not enough affordable homes being built in Yorkshire and the Humber; people across the region are struggling to find the homes they need at a price they can afford.

“Not building the homes we’re going to need represents a failing of generations to come, and a missed opportunity today.

“The numbers show that new homes are more than roofs over heads; they bring wealth to local areas and improve job prospects. That’s why we’re asking that politicians commit to ending the housing crisis within a generation by building more homes now.”

Housing is already set to be a key battle ground of the election.

The Conservatives have said they plan for 100,000 new homes to be built at 20% below market value if re-elected.

Labour though has criticised the Government for failing to meet demand during five years in office.

Shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds said: “This report shows the importance of housing to the economy not only in providing badly needed homes but creating jobs and apprenticeships too.

“Despite the benefits outlined in this report it’s clear David Cameron has failed to tackle the housing crisis and has presided over the lowest levels of house building in peacetime since the 1920s.”

She added: “A Labour Government will get at least 200,000 homes built a year by 2020, including badly needed affordable homes, creating thousands of jobs and apprenticeships.”