HOMES CRISIS: Fewer builds leaves North West facing housing shortfall

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Builders put up almost 40 per cent fewer new houses than were needed in the North West in 2014, according to the latest figures.

Only 12,120 homes were built in the region last year, a shortfall of 7,480 on the 19,600 experts say were required to meet demand.

In a year when the country as a whole started work on its highest number of new builds since 2007, the North West is now facing a housing crisis, according to the National Housing Federation which produced the figures.

“The alarm bells sounded long ago, and yet nothing seems to have changed,” said David Orr, the NHF chief executive. “For the sixth year a row new home building is at rock bottom.

“People in the North West are now thoroughly aware that the region is facing a housing crisis and despite a spate of short-term initiatives there is no grand plan. If tackling the housing crisis is about anything, it’s about building more homes. It’s the lack of supply and failure to cater for demand, which pushes up prices and leaves needy people out in the cold. Unless we act now and building more housing of all types, but particularly genuinely affordable housing, we are in danger of making today’s housing crisis our children’s problem.”

Failure to build enough, say the NHF, is already pushing prices out of reach for many, with an income of £36,326 now needed to afford a typical mortgage in the North West.

Experts now warn that 8,100 new affordable homes need to be built in the region per year, yet just 2,610 affordable homes were built last year, around a third of what local people desperately need.