Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Take on the Housing Crisis and Boost Our Economy'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Take on the Housing Crisis and Boost Our Economy'

Article excerpt

Byline: Craig Thompson Reporter

TACKLING the North East's housing crisis now would help create 3,829 new jobs and give the region's economy a boost of more than PS146m.

The National Housing Federation released the figures in its latest report, but warned the area needs to build 3,800 affordable homes per year to keep pace with demand.

Last year, just 1,100 were built - less than a third of the number needed.

The figures follow months of efforts to come up with a solution to the current housing shortage which, it was warned, could have a huge impact on "generations to come" unless immediately addressed.

The Federation claims the North East LEP would benefit from an annual cash injection of PS113m into the local economy if enough affordable homes were built to meet the local demand. They claim building more homes here would support 2,525 jobs by creating new employment opportunities and also keeping people in work - these could be in newly-boosted local businesses or housing associations themselves.

In the Tees Valley LEP area, a cash boost of PS34m would be created, helping establish 763 full-time jobs.

Monica Burns, external affairs manager for the North East at the National Housing Federation, said: "There are simply not enough affordable homes being built in the North East and 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 on generations to come, and a missed opportunity today. Numbers show 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."

For the first time, the entire housing sector, ranging from housing associations and architects to private developers, planners and architects, are jointly calling on the next government to publish a year-long plan within a year of taking office outlining how they will tackle the housing crisis over the next 25 years. …

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