BRITAIN’S housing crisis is certainly exacerbated by developers not building the new homes given the go-ahead by council planners.
Work is yet to begin on 420,000 houses already granted permission – this backlog intensifies pressure on those cherished open spaces that campaigners want to protect.
The high number of unfulfilled schemes, coupled with a culture of Nimbyism that has become ingrained in the planning process because opponents of new homes believe, mistakenly, that the national housing shortage is not their problem, are two of the root causes of one of the biggest policy challenges facing Yorkshire and the rest of the country.
A problem that transcends urban and rural areas, the number of outstanding homes needs to be seen in a wider political context. The Government says it needs to build at least 300,000 homes a year if the country’s future housing needs to be met. Yet, with the Institute of Fiscal Studies revealing today how home ownership levels among young adults on middle incomes have collapsed in the past 20 years, and that homelessness is on the rise, the time for reform is now.
Today’s generation are already the first to be less well-off than their parents, not least because rent levels have soared as a result of the housing shortage, and this problem will only become more acute if the status quo persists. With younger people also reluctant, or unable, to invest in pensions and start saving now for their retirement, the longer-term economic and social repercussions will be very significant. As such, it will require a local, regional and national collective effort like no other – one that is built on firm foundations and recognises the need for tough compromises.
After all, those most vociferous about their children being unable to afford a home of their own are often the self-same people most opposed to new schemes in their back yard.