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Tensions building as lack of affordable homes is exposed

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: June 15, 2012

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A housing crisis looms for a lost generation of young people, a charity has warned – amid a slump in new affordable properties.

Fewer than 1,900 were started in the West last year, which experts warn is far too few to meet demand.

The West has the nation's biggest gap between property prices and wages, meaning many young families are priced out of the market by wealthy incomers buying second homes.

So the need for affordable housing is critical, yet fewer than ten were begun in several West council areas, according to official Homes and Communities Agency figures.

The statistics show no affordable homes were started in Herefordshire in 2011-12, and just seven in Tewkesbury, eight in North Dorset, ten in Gloucester and 15 in West Somerset.

Some of these areas, such as Tewkesbury and North Dorset, have especially high property prices, making it almost impossible for most young people to join the ladder.

Bristol saw just 66 affordable home starts, despite being the region's biggest city by far, and there were only 25 in Bath & North East Somerset and 101 in booming South Gloucestershire.

Wiltshire saw a total of 224, Swindon 168, Cheltenham 141 and North Somerset 134, but there were only 1,867 in the West as a whole.

Labour housing spokesman Jack Dromey said across England only 15,598 homes started were for affordable housing, a decrease of 68 per cent on the previous year.

"These figures reveal the true extent of the tragic failure of the Tory-led Government's housing and economic policies," he said. "The £4 billion cut to the affordable housing budget not only led to a disastrous 68 per cent collapse in affordable house building over the past year but hit the construction and house building industries hard, helping tip us back into double-dip recession. The Government was warned time and time again that its policies would make the housing crisis worse – locking families out of the housing market, fuelling rising rents in the private rented sector and leaving more people on housing waiting lists."

Mr Dromey added: "We would use a tax on bank bonuses to build up to 25,000 affordable homes, fund 100,000 youth jobs and get the economy going again."

The figures were published as a charity warned more and more people will be forced to stay living with their parents into their 30s.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps claimed there had been a big increase in affordable housing starts in the second part of the year.

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  • Charlespk  |  August 14 2012, 12:25PM

    Hello Bill!! You fancied a bit of the action as well did you!!? :)) Feeling a bit pushed to one side and neglected are you?? :))

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  • Bill62  |  August 14 2012, 12:11PM

    P.S. Inflation started when the word "EGO" was introduced into the vernacular.

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  • Bill62  |  August 14 2012, 12:02PM

    Did someone mention my name? . you guys still at it? .. the Olympics are over now, but this marathon apparently is not!

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  • Charlespk  |  August 14 2012, 8:48AM

    Are you talking to me? Why else do you think I'm so rich and you are so poor? http://tinyurl.com/6l4lzhz (Your instructions)(Open in a new window.)

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  • bath1946  |  August 14 2012, 4:13AM

    Charles, yet again you have been proved to be talking nonsense. Facts dear boy, facts - not pretence, but facts. You do not understand inflation; you do not understand monetary economics; you are intimidated by intelligence; and most disconcerting for you, you know nothing about me, but i know all about your fantasies. Toodle pip.

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  • Charlespk  |  August 13 2012, 8:16PM

    Is that all you've got? It's no wonder I've made you feel so inadequate.

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  • bath1946  |  August 13 2012, 8:07PM

    Obviously you don't know, Charles. Delusions are another symptom of dementia.

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  • Charlespk  |  August 13 2012, 5:37PM

    What you have printed is garbled tosh. I was there William!!

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  • Charlespk  |  August 13 2012, 5:32PM

    The inflation didn't take off until the early 70's. I know what wages were in the 60's. . I left school in the summer of 1961. You must just be lonely I've decided.

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  • bath1946  |  August 13 2012, 5:24PM

    "Go away Bill" Early onset dementia often occurs in the over 60s and is frequently accompanied with frustration. Since you do not believe the data provided by the Financial Times and you have introduced the early 1970s, try this from the Dept. of Employment and Productivity 1981. Average weekly wages for agricultural workers : 1960 £8 6s 8d 1961 £8 12s 7d 1962 £9 1s 9d 1963 £9 9s 1d 1964 £9 18s 10d 1965 £10 7s 11d 1966 £10 13s 11d 1967 £10 13s 11d 1968 £11 11s 0d 1969 £12 8s 0d 1970 £13 3s 0d 1971 £14 6s 0d 1972 £16 20p 1973 £19 50p 1974 £21 80p Average yearly UK Earnings to supplement data already provided : 1970 £1801 03p 1971 £2003 82p 1972 £2262 08p 1973 £2567 54p 1974 £3023 55p I wouldn't have thought that wages and earnings in West Wales were greater than these averages and therefore can confidently repeat that you are wrong.

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