MPs in Bradford have warned the city’s “housing timebomb” is likely to get worse before it gets better without urgent Government action.
Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe last night urged cross-party MPs to lobby Housing Minister Mark Prisk about the housing crisis after the Telegraph & Argus revealed how nearly 21,000 low-income individuals and families in Bradford were trapped on social housing waiting lists last year.
It led to Bradford West Respect MP George Galloway tabling an Early Day Motion calling on the Government to implement an immediate programme of new house building, saying the problem was part of a “more general national housing crisis where need now far exceeds supply”.
This week the T&A revealed how a report by the National Housing Federation, Home Truths 2012, says only one fifth of the new homes Bradford needs are being built every year and homelessness in Bradford has rocketed 47 per cent in the past year alone.
But the stock of properties run by housing associations has actually shrunk by two per cent over the past five years.
Mr Sutcliffe said he wanted Bradford Council leader Councillor David Green and fellow MPs to organise an urgent meeting with Mr Prisk to call for investment to build new homes in the district.
“There is a huge demand for housing that is not being met – and it is a demand that is growing. It is at crisis point,” he said.
Bradford East Liberal Democrat David Ward said a ‘bedroom tax’ to be implemented next April, which will cut the amount of benefit that people can get if they are considered to have a spare bedroom, would make the problem worse.
Shipley Conservative MP Philip Davies said while he agreed new houses needed to be built, he believed this should happen in the centre of Bradford.