Single mother urges for more affordable rentals as prices spiral across Yorkshire

Hard-working, mother-of-three Rachel Torres has hit out at Skipton rental market after the rising rental market almost forced her out of hometown.

Hard-working, mum-of-three Rachel Torres has struggled to find an affordable rental property in her home town of Skipton as local rental prices spiral. Photo credit: Tony Johnson

Ms Torres call for action follows on after housing experts have warned the Government that Yorkshire and the rest of northern England are being "frozen out" of vital home-building schemes because of funding criteria which favour London and the South East.

Rules designed to tackle the over-heating housing market in and around the capital mean the vast majority of northern councils are not eligible to bid for 80 per cent of funds handed out by government agency Homes England to help them build new homes.

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It is feared that without investment in housing in the North imbalances in the UK economy will continue to deepen, making it harder to retain talent, attract investment and increase productivity.

Rachael Torres, pictured with her youngest son Charlie. Photo credit Tony Johnson

Ms Torres rented a small three-bed roomed property for her three sons and herself in Skipton since 2014.

However, after the 51-year-old's two eldest children moved out, the local care home worker was left in a desperate situation to try to make ends meet.

"The rent just kept going up and up and up after my two older boys moved out there was only my income coming in," she said.

"I found that difficult. My sons used to give me a bit of board but once that went it was even harder."

Skipton-born Rachel Torres and her son Charlie were recently given a "miracle," in the form of a two-bed affordable rental throughIncommunities, thelargest social landlord in the Bradford District who own and manage further homes in West, North and South Yorkshire.Photo credit: Tony Johnson

Ms Torres said it was vital to continue renting in Skipton due to family commitments and schooling for her 11-year-old son.

"I was born and bred here. I've got family, school, work and friends here. It's where my roots are and I didn't want to have to move away."

Ms Torres told the Yorkshire Post that she was close to being squeezed out of the rental market and nearly had to resort moving back in with her parents who live in the area.

"I did think I would have to move in with family," she said "I thought if it gets to the worst I would have to move back with my parents."

However she was given a "miracle," in the form of a two-bed affordable rental through Incommunities, the largest social landlord in the Bradford District who own and manage further homes in West, North and South Yorkshire.

The organisation acquired 17 homes for rent and five for shared ownership in a 106 Agreement with New Skipton homes, part of a private development by Miller Homes.

"It was the ultimate lifeline," she said. "I had been asking for a miracle and it happened. I couldn't believe it."

The rented homes are being let for affordable rent to locals. As part of this agreement rents are charged in line with the Local Housing Allowance.

Ms Torres added that more affordable rentals must be provided in Skipton or many locals would be forced to move from the market town.

"I've been one of the lucky ones," she said. "But I know a lot of friends who struggle with high rent and don't know what they are going to do.

"There should be more affordable rentals because how else will people stay here?

"People who rent in Skipton want to stay here and for real locals this is where our roots are. We don't want to move away."