The homes crisis must be tackled

First published in Our View by

The Bradford district is facing a ticking housing timebomb which must be addressed quickly before it spirals out of control.

A new report today, exclusively revealed in the Telegraph & Argus, highlights the growing number of families on the waiting list for social housing in the district.

There are 21,000 low-income individuals and families on the list and only one fifth of the new homes needed in the district are being built every year. Those figures simply don’t add up and the situation will only get worse.

We have long campaigned for derelict and disused brownfield sites to be used for much-needed housing through our Save Our Green Spaces campaign, and that has now been echoed by the National Housing Federation.

Its report warns that the number of families classed as homeless has rocketed by 47 per cent in the last year alone. The Federation is now calling on the Government to hand over the many empty brownfield sites to allow them to be used for affordable housing.

That is something that must be looked at immediately and incentives will be needed to encourage developers to build more social housing on these sites. In general, developers prefer to build new houses in semi-rural areas where they can maximise their profit margins – but those are not the bulk of the houses that Bradford needs.

Continued development of greenfield sites is simply going to create more unaffordable homes, as well as failing to address the blight of these derelict properties on our cities and towns. We need a joined-up approach from the Government, local authorities and the building industry to seriously tackle this impending crisis as the district finds itself with far more families than it will ever be able to house.

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