Housing crisis most acute in England’s biggest cities reveals analysis

The housing crisis is most acute in England’s biggest cities according to analysis from Core Cities UK and the National Housing Federation (NHF) which highlights the untapped potential of the eight most economically powerful cities outside London to drive growth and create jobs.

The Core Cities Home Truths report explored key housing metrics in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield, finding that if core cities urban areas economically performed at the national average, they would generate an extra £222bn in GVA (Gross Value Added) and 1.16 million jobs by 2030.

The report also demonstrates the severity of the housing crisis in urban areas outside the capital. Despite delivering 11% of England’s economic output and being home to three in 10 people, wages in the English core cities are well below the national average. It’s no surprise then that core cities have seen homeownership flat-line over the last decade, currently hovering at more than ten percentage points below the national average with more families languishing in short-term lets, and more than one in five city-dwellers now renting privately.

There is a range of housing problems that cities are keen to tackle, suggesting that a one-size-fits-all approach will not help urban areas solve their individual housing crises. While cities like Bristol are stifled by unaffordability with house prices soaring almost nine times the average pay check, others are in desperate need of regeneration with more than 3,500 homes lying empty in both Birmingham and Liverpool. Whilst the report focuses on the English core cities, the housing issues are just as stark in Glasgow and Cardiff.

Simon Nunn, assistant director of external affairs at the National Housing Federation, said: “Housing associations provide almost 215,000 homes in the English core cities – that’s 11 per cent of all homes. We have a unique understanding of these cities’ local communities and as the report evidences, the housing crisis manifests itself in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Cities need the right homes in the right places that provide for the full range of housing needs.

“We are campaigning to end the housing crisis within a generation and that means tailored solutions to the challenges places face. England’s eight Core Cities have a key role to play in this, they have ambitious plans for growth, maintaining and creating strong communities and providing jobs – we intend to help them do that.”

The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson who is the Core Cities cabinet member for housing and planning, added: “Core Cities UK is pleased to be working with the National Housing Federation to highlight our specific housing opportunities and challenges. As well as an example of market failure, housing is a good example of when a 'one size fits all' policy doesn't work.

“The housing situations differ in all the core cities from Bristol to Glasgow. We all have unique local conditions and issues that require bespoke solutions. That's why core cities require supportive national policies alongside greater devolution of powers, with single housing investment plans that are locally accountable and flexible.”

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