Tackling the need for affordable homes in Lancashire could boost the economy by millions and create hundreds of full time jobs, it was claimed today.
Experts from the National Housing Federation have warned the county needs 1,598 homes to be built every year to keep pace with demand.
In the North West 8,100 affordable homes per year need to be built, yet last year just 2,060 were built – around a quarter of the number needed.
Hugh Evans, deputy chief executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce said: “The construction sector is a vital sector of Lancashire.
“One of the great benefits of house building is it acts as a kick starter for everything else.
“I think that there are clear signs the economy is starting to pick up, that has been apparent for a good few months now. If we are to create the economy that we need, we need to kick start the housing boom – that is a catalyst.”
Across England as a whole we need to build 78,500 affordable homes each year.
This would directly contribute £3.6billion to the economy and support over 71,000 full-time jobs.
It would also help the 1.37million households stranded on waiting lists for affordable housing.
The ‘Affordable Housing Need’ figure is taken from Holman’s projection for newly arising housing demand.
Katie Teasdale, external affairs manager for the North West at the National Housing Federation said: “There are simply not enough affordable homes being built in the North West.
“People across the region are struggling to find the homes they need at a price they can afford.
“Not building the homes we’re going to need represents a failing of generations to come, and a missed opportunity today.
“The numbers show that new homes are more than roofs over heads; they bring wealth to local areas and improve job prospects.
“That’s why we’re asking that politicians commit to ending the housing crisis within a generation by building more homes now.”
The National Housing Federation is part of the Homes for Britain campaign which is calling on the next government to end the housing crisis within a generation.