HOUSING rents in Central Beds will be subject to massive increases over the next ten years – among the biggest rises in the country – according to a new report out last Monday.
The National Housing Federation (NHF) found years of not building enough homes will push private rent up by 64 per cent.
Rents are predicted to rise 71 per cent from £667 to £1,094, leaving households with an extra £427 a month to find – a daunting task since income rose by just 0.1 per cent in the area this year compared to the 3 per cent rent rise.
The predictions would also see rents in Luton increase from £615 a month to £1,009 by 2022.
Claire Astbury from NHF said: “It’s crunch time for Bedfordshire’s unsustainable housing market, with house prices and rents set to rocket as thousands of families are already struggling to afford their home.
“Successive governments have failed to tackle the under-supply of housing. Now time is running out to fix the problem, and a whole generation are at risk of being priced out of renting a home, let alone buying one.”
The NHF Home Truths 2012 report warns that thousands more families will have to rely on Government support to pay their rent in the next few years.
One in 16 families in the East of England is currently on the waiting list for social housing, and nationally the number of working people who rely on housing benefit to pay for private rent has risen by 86 per cent in the last three years.
The NHF’s new campaign Yes To Homes aims to encourage people to speak up in support of more new homes being built and persuade the Government to release publicly owned brownfield land. The NHF has identified brownfield land equivalent to two cities the size of Leicester that could be built on.
The news caused a stir on the Gazette’s Facebook page. One user wrote: “There are also many empty or abandoned properties which are not used, but could be.
“I agree there should be more social housing available for those who need it.”
Another user said: “It’s to do with people setting up home on their own as relationships break down or people decide to live single lives.
“The under-supply of housing is jolly good news for landlords though.”
> What do you think about the projected rise in rent rates? What is to blame? What can be done? Join the debate at www.facebook.com/dunstablegazette or tweet @Dunstable_Rick.