IT’S IRONIC that those who complain most vociferously about the imposition of housing targets are, invariably, those who also bemoan sky-high property prices and how they are now out of the financial reach of so many prospective first-time buyers.
However they do need to recognise that every missed target therefore exacerbates the housing shortage and puts further pressure on prices at a time when this country needs a far more balanced, and nuanced approach, to such a complex issue.
As The Yorkshire Post’s week-long series on the county’s changing demographics continues to demonstrate, current decisions on all aspects of policy will have long-term repercussions for an ageing society – and housing is no exception to this.
Yet, while it is understandable that developers want to exploit the regeneration opportunities that still exist in Yorkshire’s cities, the need for affordable housing will be even more pressing in the county’s towns and villages in future.
For, unless younger families can afford to live here, and further their own career ambitions, older residents face the prospect of a lonely existence because the correlation between housing and social policy has not been recognised by national, regional and local leaders.
And while many will sympathise with Boris Johnson’s call for a stamp duty cut as part of his pitch for the Tory leadership, Yorkshire – and the rest of Britain – does, in fact, need much firmer policy foundations if new homes are to be not only built in the correct place, but also meet the needs of the young and old alike.