Tory housing policy rethink 'could hit young people'


Scrapping regional housing targets could affect young people trying to get on the property ladder in the East Midlands, housing industry experts say.

The Labour government had called for 500,000 houses to be built across the region over the next 16 years .

But future housing targets will now be decided by local councils.

National Housing Federation spokesman Bob Wilson said: "It's increasingly impossible for young people to get on the housing ladder."

"Villages are dying for lack of affordable housing," he said.

Waiting lists

The Campaign to Protect Rural England estimated the government's housing targets in the East Midlands - up to 2026 - was heading towards half a million new homes. The annual target is currently 21,500.

"The level of housing being proposed was excessive. You can't really predict growth over 20 years. It's like trying to forecast the weather in a month's time," said Lisa Hopkinson, of the CPRE.

She added: "But you need to have some sort of strategic co-ordination. You can't just leave it to districts to fight among themselves. You have got to bring all those wider issues like transport, jobs and the environment, and co-ordinate it properly."

The National Housing Federation is now warning that housing waiting lists will rise.

It says there are already between 300,000 to 400,000 people in the East Midlands wanting a new home.

But Communities Minister Eric Pickles has said it is time to allow local authorities to make decisions about housing needs in their area and not be "bossed around" by central government.

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