Housing shortage hitting local workers

16th century house at The Street, Hessett16th century house at The Street, Hessett
16th century house at The Street, Hessett
The housing shortage in Bedfordshire is pushing house prices and private rents out of reach for local workers, according to a new report – with the crisis set to get even worse by 2020.

Home Truths 2014: East of England from the National Housing Federation warns that while the average salary in the county rose by just 27% in the last ten years, house prices rocketed more than twice as fast, by 58%2. A gross annual income of £47,298 is now needed for the average mortgage in the county, double the average salary of £22,6961.

Private rents are also soaring as demand increases from those priced out of buying a home. Rents in the East are expected to rise faster than anywhere else by 2020, up 49%3.

Home Truths 2013/14: East of England also found that:

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· Rising housing costs are hitting the public purse, with a 96% increase in working people claiming housing benefit in the East since 20094

· Only half of the homes the region needs are being built, with 28,2115 new households expected to form in the East each year but just 13,9606 homes built in 2012/13.

· A quarter of young adults aged 20-34 in the region are living with their parents.

· The number of households led by over 64s is set to rise by 23% in the East by 2021

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· Every home built brings £97,866 into the East of England and creates 2.1 jobs directly and in the wider community.

· Homelessness is becoming more of a problem in the East of England, rising 32% in the past two years.