Devon social housing waiting list 'up 40% in a year'

The number of people or families waiting for social housing in Devon increased by more than 40% in a year, new research shows.

The National Housing Federation (NHF) said the number, including the Plymouth and Torbay unitary areas, increased from 28,500 in 2010 to 40,600 in 2011.

The figure amounted to a 42% rise. Housing shortfalls were also pushing up prices and rent, the federation added.

It called on the housing sector to take a long-term view to solve the shortage.

'Prices high'

Jenny Allen, of the NHF in the South West, said: "There is a huge shortfall in the number of homes that we need.

"House prices remain incredibly high. Rents are high and due to rise and there many thousands of people waiting for a social home.

"The real reason we are not able to meet these needs is that we are not building enough housing of any kind.

"This is keeping prices high and it means that more and more people are struggling."

The NHF said in Teignbridge alone, 960 families joined the housing waiting list between 2010 and 2011, a rise of nearly 40% to 3,390.

Councillor Phillip Vogel, portfolio holder for housing at Teignbridge District Council, said the council was planning to build 2,600 "affordable" houses over the next 20 years.

He said the council was also working with community lands trusts on self-build and eco-housing projects.

Mr Vogel said: "The council is addressing this so that our increase is not as high as other local authorities."

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