Bradford named worst in country for rich-poor divide

George Galloway
George Galloway
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BRADFORD is the most economically polarised place in the country with the biggest gap between its rich and poor areas and with more overcrowded houses than London according to a hard-hitting new report.

Research published today by a leading think-tank says that the poorest areas of the city are blighted by overcrowded homes, empty properties and a shortage of rented accommodation meeting basic Government living standards.

It warns that housing benefits cuts will make the city’s housing problems worse, hitting poor families and forcing single people into low quality shared houses.

The report by the IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research) has focused on Bradford as part of a review into a national housing crisis.

It warns that the market is not creating enough homes and by 2025 Yorkshire will face a shortage of 150,000 properties.

Dr Jenni Viitanen’s report recommends that housing benefit is taken out of the new Universal Credit system and given to councils who have knowledge of the local housing market.

The research into Bradford highlights the massive gap between the cost of properties and rents in the “urban centre” compared with more affluent parts of the district such as Wharfedale.

Dr Viitanen said: “Bradford is a place of extremes: the area is highly polarised in terms of concentrations of high and low income households, which is linked to the way the housing market operates.

“The areas with high concentrations of low income households are also associated with the poorest quality housing stock, overcrowding on the one hand and empty properties on the other.”

Bradford West’s Respect MP George Galloway said: “Anyone walking around Bradford will find this report self-evident...Tax avoidance and evasion are the real issues, not penalising poor people, reducing their benefits, forcing them into smaller and meaner accommodation while the better-off benefit through tax cuts.”

Page 4: Cuts make it worse.