Homes crisis 'may bring higher rents'

HOUSING Minister Grant Shapps has admitted that families struggling to get on the property ladder could face increasing rents to help counter cuts in funding for affordable homes projects.

The housing crisis gripping the Yorkshire region was spelt out to Mr Shapps during a meeting in Westminster yesterday with York Central MP Hugh Bayley.

Mr Shapps acknowledged that York and North Yorkshire have "specific problems" with affordable housing, according to Mr Bayley, but maintained it was down to local authorities to generate more funding for schemes.

Mr Bayley revealed the Minister had urged councils to work with developers and look into increasing rents for new affordable housing tenants which could then be used to help pay for new homes.

He added: "While it is heartening to know that the Minister is listening to the problems we are experiencing in York and North Yorkshire, I told him the Government needs to target financial resources at property hot spots around the country.

"People who are on low or modest wages are already struggling to afford rents, and they simply will not be able to pay any more."

The Yorkshire Post revealed last Saturday that 85m in Government funding for housing schemes in the Leeds City Region will not be renewed next year. The North Yorkshire Housing Strategy expects to have its funding cut in half.