Anger at housing shortage


A housing charity has hit out after new figures revealed Doncaster has created fewer new affordable homes than any other metropolitan area in Yorkshire.

In Doncaster only 480 affordable homes have been delivered since April 2010, according to figures from Department for Communities and Local Government.

This figure compares with council areas in the region that have seen some of the biggest numbers of affordable homes delivered including 1,910 in Leeds, 1,230 in Wakefield and 1,180 in Barnsley. Figures show there were 41,654 affordable homes started in the year to March 2014 in Yorkshire and the Humber in total – 15 per cent higher than the previous year across the country.

But Shelter, a housing charity, has hit out claiming more needs to be done. Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: “Any uptick in house building should be welcomed, but the worrying reality is that we are still building less than half the homes we need. Successive governments have failed to build enough homes to keep up with demand, and thousands of young people and families forced to watch their dream of a home of their own slip further and further out of reach, leaving them stuck in the rent trap or living in their childhood bedrooms.

“Everyone agrees that we need to build more homes, but sticking plaster solutions like Help to Buy or tweaks to planning rules will never tackle the hole in our housing market.”

Thorne Councillor Martin Williams said part of the problem was the planning process.

He said: “We need to be encouraging builders in the private sector to crack on with building in the borough and making part of the developments affordable housing.

“Part of the problem is the planning process can take so long and there’s so much red tape that this often puts people off, we need to speed this process up.”

Peter Dale, Director of Regeneration and Environment, said: “We know we need more properties that meet the needs of residents right across the borough and we are working with developers and investors to make sure more affordable homes are built.

“Our plans will see over 900 new homes, a mixture of affordable and council properties, built between 2015-18.

“This will include a ground-breaking Affordable Rent to Buy scheme for families aspiring to home ownership and a significant number of Extra Care apartments for older people.

“Across the borough we are allocating land for over 18,000 homes and have granted planning permission for more than 9,000 properties which include affordable homes.”

The Affordable Homes programme includes social rented homes, affordable rented homes and affordable home ownership schemes, and is a key part of the Government’s long-term economic plan.