York fails its affordable homes target by 2,300 – as rents rocket by 11%

York needs new homes. Photograph: Joe Giddens / PA Wire
23 Jan 2020 @ 8.04 am
| News

York has fallen woefully short of its target for building affordable homes.

Planners said the city needed to provide 2,865 affordable homes over the last five years (2014/15-2018/19).

Instead it had only delivered 522 by March 2019. That’s a shortfall of 2,343.

YearAffordable housing homes builtRight To Buy
2013/145053
2014/1513952
2015/1610968
2016/179079
2017/187472
2018/196060
Total522384

And this figure was further offset by 384 ‘right to buy’ sales, taking other affordable homes off the market – which gives a net total of 138 new affordable homes in the five year period.

The report says: “Positively, there were 24 new affordable homes delivered during the first quarter of 2019-20 which indicates that the full year total for 2019-20 could be higher than the previous year.”

It also reveals that “the number of homeless households in temporary accommodation in total has risen from 49 in 2017-18 to 66 in 2018-19”.

The figures are revealed in a report going to the housing and community safety policy and scrutiny committee of City of York Council which meets on Monday (27 January).

Housing costs soar

A house to let in Newborough Street, York. Photograph © Google Street View
Figures in the report show how unaffordable property has become in York.

While annual earnings rose by just 2.5% in the city between 2014 and 2018, house prices increased by 25%.

Private rents for a one-bedroom flat have gone up by 10.6% in that time, and for a two-bedroom flat by 11.5%.

Median data for City of York (ONS / VOA)20142018% increase
Annual earnings£25,880 £26,522 2.50%
Monthly earnings£2,157 £2,210 2.50%
House price£188,000 £235,000 25%
Affordability ratio*7.268.86n/a
Private rent (monthly): 1 bed£565£62510.60%
Private rent (monthly): 2 bed£650£72511.50%
2 bed rent as % earnings30%33%n/a
LHA** 1 bed£445£430-3.40%
LHA** 2 bed£525£5351.90%

And they are continuing to rise. We reported on Wednesday how York had the third-fastest rising rents of cities in the UK.

The report also outlines the council’s plans to improve the housing situation – see below.

The council’s future housing plans

We’ve committed to develop 600 new homes across York in 8 council owned
locations.

Goals agreed in July 2018 by the council’s Executive mean our Housing Delivery Programme will build:

  • high-quality homes designed in collaboration with the local community
  • accommodation suitable for a wide range of households, meeting a full range of affordable housing
  • shared open spaces, sociable neighbourhoods and community cohesion
  • homes with higher than required environmental attributes (resulting in lower running costs)
  • healthy places where people want to live.

Our ambition is to create a wide-reaching legacy for the city which builds on York’s rich history as a housing pioneer, developing treasured homes in green and healthy neighbourhoods.

Our Housing Delivery Programme will deliver mixed communities where:

  • 60% of homes will be for sale on the housing market (providing funds towards development costs of affordable housing)
  • 40% of the homes will be affordable homes, including shared ownership and rented council housing.

Source: Housing Needs and availability update, City of York Council