Research shows voters want more homes in their local area, not less

Pressure is ramping up on the next government to commit to urgently build homes in Yorkshire, as research finds more than half of people in the region are more likely to vote for a party that plans to build new homes.

Two thirds of all people in Yorkshire support the building of more good quality and affordable homes in their local area, research shows.
Two thirds of all people in Yorkshire support the building of more good quality and affordable homes in their local area, research shows.

The poll by Homes for the North, which represents 17 of the largest housing associations in the north, also shows two thirds of all people in Yorkshire support the building of more good quality and affordable homes in their local area.

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While election coverage has been dominated by the NHS, policing and the economy, half of people in Yorkshire who said they would vote differently to the last election said housing was as important as those other issues.

Chair of Homes for the North, Carol Matthews, said something she hears a lot as she travels round the north is that quality affordable housing is as important to people as other issues.

“People are concerned about where they’re going to live,” she said.

“The new Government should respond by putting the delivery of more homes in the North at the heart of its programme from 2020 onwards.

“Currently, very little of the national funding available to support housebuilding is being spent in the north. We are calling on the new Government to adopt a new strategy that delivers greater investment in northern housing and helps rebalance the economy.”

This comes as separate analysis shows, for the £4bn cost of refurbishment and repairs on the Palace of Westminster, one in three homeless people could be housed.

More than 40,000 new homes could be built, housing almost 121,000 people at three people to a property, the analysis of official statistics by broker Pure Commercial Finance demonstrates.

It is generally agreed the UK needs an average of extra 300,000 homes a year over the next five years, to keep up with rising demand.

Daniel Tomlinson, research and policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, told the Yorkshire Post that this is only possible if the government intervenes and builds more social homes.

However, he said supply is only part of the problem, as the day-to-day cost of renting in the private sector can be crippling for low income families.

“Housing costs are a really big issue too. The high cost of private rents means an average private renter spends about a third of their income on rent. This has tripled since the 1980s,” he said.

The poorest fifth of families spends £4 in every £10 of income on housing, he added.