Crisis shows why housing must be top of the political agenda in Durham

22 Apr, 2013

Like much of the country Durham is experiencing an acute housing crisis.

Launching its Housing Manifesto, HBF today calls on all the prospective council candidates standing in May’s election to ensure housing issues are given priority as the election campaign continues.

In Durham;

In 2011/12 only 57% of the homes needed were built. There were 860 housing starts, whilst 1,500 new households were createdSocial housing waiting lists increased by 48% in the 10 years to 2012.  There are currently 17,532 families on the waiting listIt takes at least four and half years for an average first-time buyer in the North East to save the necessary funds for a depositMedian house prices increased 93% in the 10 years from 2001 to 2011.Nearly 1,000 extra local jobs could have been created from building enough homes to meet demandBuilding enough homes to meet household projections each year could mean annual New Homes Bonus payments of around £13 million.

Speaking today, as HBF launched its Housing Manifesto, Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman at the HBF said;

“Across the country, housing is one of the main reasons why constituents contact their local council and councillors need to be taking a proactive approach to housing issues in their areas.

“Like many places, Northumberland is experiencing an acute housing crisis. Delivering the homes needed is vital to the area’s social and economic wellbeing.

“Together, we all have responsibility for housing provision in Northumberland, but the role of local politicians is vital if we are to deliver the homes the area needs.

“The council must work to create an environment within which more homes can be built. Doing so will deliver significant benefits, building the decent new homes the region needs will improve the lives of many, support strong communities and create desperately needed jobs and economic growth.”

To ensure the homes get built that the area needs, HBF’s Housing Manifesto calls for candidates to;

Commit to ensuring that the number of new homes being built is at the level required by the area’s population Work closely with the industry to develop a climate within which the industry can deliver the homes the area needs Work with all parties, including  the Local Authority to identify and allocate sufficient suitable land for development to allow the homes that are needed to be built Work with the industry to cut through the bureaucracy that can stall many developments or stops developments all together Ensure the demands placed on house building sites are realistic and not so onerous that they prohibit development taking place

For media enquiries, or to arrange an interview, please contact Steve Turner on 020 7960 1606 / 07919 307 760 or

Notes to Editors:

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) is the representative body of the home building industry in England and Wales. HBF’s members account for some 80% of all new homes built in England and Wales in any one year, and include companies of all sizes, ranging from multi-national, household names through regionally based businesses to small local companies:

Durham UA