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Farron meets with housing chiefs to fight for fairer housing

March 13, 2014 11:45 AM

Cumbrian MPs including South lakes MP Tim Farron yesterday met with Cumbrian Housing association chiefs to put their heads together to tackle the housing crisis.Cumbrian MPs including South lakes MP Tim Farron yesterday met with Cumbrian Housing association chiefs to put their heads together to tackle the housing crisis.

Meeting at a roundtable event in Parliament, housing association chiefs across the county set out the drastic need to save affordable housing in Cumbrian communities, highlighting the need for more public land to be released, for freedom to save existing social housing in the lakes from being sold off and to give housing associations more flexibility to finance new homes.

Commenting, Tim said: "This week, national newspapers reported that the city with the biggest between house prices and wages was oxford, with average property prices 11 times the average salary. But in south Lakeland, it's even worse - running up to 12 times higher than average salaries in the worst affected areas. In Grasmere, we have lost 75% of our social housing. In Ambleside, it's 60%. At the same time, although we've been pushing for every home sold off to be replaced, we don't have the land we need to build the homes we need on - and even where we do it's taking up to seven years to replace them. Being able to own your own home is a brilliant thing but if we continue as we are at the moment, in another decade there will be no room for anyone in the Lakes who doesn't have an astronomical salary or wasn't lucky enough to win the Right to Buy lottery. So it's no wonder we are losing young people at a faster rate than any other county in England.

"But what's often missed is that housing is a good thing - not just for the people that need the homes but for the communities that receive them."

Research by Sheffield Hallam found that social housing adds £10.3billion a year to the economy of northern England, bringing £5billion of direct spending by housing providers and £5.3billion of indirect spending by suppliers and contractors. The Cambridge Centre for Housing Planning & Research also found that every £1 invested in housing creates £2.84 in local spending.

Tim added: "The Housing crisis we face isn't about building it's about people. It's appalling that in significant parts of the UK, you need a salary of at least £100,000 to stay in the village you grew up in. And it's not just a few people - the problem is real, and it's widespread and we must work tirelessly to end it."

"But what's often missed is that housing is a good thing - not just for the people that need the homes but for the communities that receive them."

Research by Sheffield Hallam found that social housing adds £10.3billion a year to the economy of northern England, bringing £5billion of direct spending by housing providers and £5.3billion of indirect spending by suppliers and contractors. The Cambridge Centre for Housing Planning & Research also found that every £1 invested in housing creates £2.84 in local spending.

Tim added: "The Housing crisis we face isn't about building it's about people. It's appalling that in significant parts of the UK, you need a salary of at least £100,000 to stay in the village you grew up in. And it's not just a few people - the problem is real, and it's widespread and we must work tirelessly to end it."