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MP pledges to lead talks on affordable housing
A Bradford MP has said he is prepared to lead a delegation to Government to press the case for Bradford to get more affordable housing.
Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe (Lab) said that when he heads to Westminster next week he will be seeking a meeting with the Housing Minister Mark Prisk, with his fellow district MPs to see what they can do to help Bradford.
It comes after the National Housing Federation warned that Bradford has an affordable homes crisis which is worsening year-by-year.
The Federation told the Telegraph & Argus that a rising number of people are being priced out of a property market where the average house price is £142,000, but average annual earnings are £18,500.
Mr Sutcliffe said: “It is important that we have that conversation to make sure we solve the issues the Federation says it is having which is not enough housing being built.
“The Council is saying it is working with developers, but we have an increased birth rate, and an increased need for social housing and a solution has to be found from somewhere.
“I think we should go to the Government from the industry side and council side and say there is a particular problem in Bradford.
“We need to find a way to solve it and I would take part in those talks.
“We would do it as an all-party discussion as this is a major problem that affects all constituents so we can work together to find a solution that helps industry, the council and those that need affordable housing.”
Councillor Val Slater, the Council’s executive member for planning, said that MPs joining forces was a good idea.
“The lack of affordable housing has an impact on the economy. Because when you are looking at firms relocating they look at what housing is like to bring staff, or how easy it is to get staff from nearby.
“Building more houses means more jobs, but also mixed tenure housing could attract people into the area.”
Bradford West Respect MP George Galloway said that he would happily work with Mr Sutcliffe.
He said: “I think the result over the National Media Museum shows what can be done when we all pull together.”
Bradford East MP David Ward (Lib Dem) said that he regularly met social housing landlords to talk about new house developments but was happy to work with other MPs including attending a meeting with the Minister.
Shipley MP Philip Davies (Con) said that he was very happy to join the MPs at a meeting with the Minister.
“However, the Labour Council in Bradford needs to look at its role in ensuring we have more affordable housing,” Mr Davies said.
Keighley Conservative MP Kris Hopkins said: “I meet regularly the Housing Minister, Mark Prisk, and did so only two weeks ago. It is reassuring to hear that Gerry, a former Labour minister, is now thinking about arranging some meetings of his own.”