Berwick : Relay highlights lack of affordable housing

A team from Four Housing took the lead leg in a mammoth 500 mile, people powered ‘relay’ aiming to end the UK’s housing crisis within a generation.

They joined housing associations from across the region taking part in the Homes for Britain ‘Relay to the Rally’ which set off from Berwick on Sunday.

Four Housing chief executive Paul Tanney said:

“There is insufficient housing in the area and what is available is often unaffordable. We are seeing an increase in the disparity between the needs of communities and the supply of appropriate housing.

“We need the right type of accommodation in the right place in order to lessen the burden on local authorities in the future, all of which will enable us to contribute to vibrant and active communities.”

The relay is due to finish at Westminster in London in time for the national Homes for Britain rally on March 17.

In the north east, Four Housing, Bernicia, Isos, Cestria, Home Group, Gentoo, Livin, North Star, Thirteen and Coast and Country are carrying a symbolic key from Berwick to Whitby, shining a spotlight on housing issues in the region, and visiting some of the key projects bringing homes and related services to people desperately in need of affordable housing.

At the same time as the north east relay is working its way south, a specially commissioned double decker bus is also winding its way from Land’s End to London, visiting some of the south and south west’s most vital housing projects.

Homes for Britain is campaigning for the next government to come up with a long-term plan to tackle the housing crisis within a year of getting into office. It is being backed by thousands of people up and down the country who have joined forces with organisations from every corner of the housing world.

Across the UK, housing association staff, residents and members of the public are making their way to London for the biggest housing rally in a generation. They will unite to call on all political parties to take bold action and end the housing crisis within a generation.

Homes for Britain’s call comes at a time when housing demand vastly outstrip supply at both a national and local level.

The Home Truths report shows that over the next 20 years in the north east region alone, there will be 156,000 new families or households, all of whom will need homes, but at current building rates, 75,000 will have nowhere to live.

Meanwhile, some areas are in desperate need of regeneration and jobs, and having the right types of homes in the right places can play a vital role in sparking new life into these communities.

The Homes for Britain campaign needs people to add their voice – anyone wanting to get involved can write to their local politicians and share the message on social media using #HomesForBritain.

Source – Berwick Advertiser, 04 Mar 2015

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