24 November 2017   |  Last Updated 29-04-2015 07:23

      Manchester's housing crisis leads to homeless families

      THERE are over 400 homeless families in the North West because of a lack of affordable housing.

       

      According to the homeless charity Shelter house prices are almost 10 times the average wage, leaving many families unable to afford a home.

      Image: Adam Wheelan

       

      Adam Wheelan, a homelessness activist in Manchester, said: “A lot of people are aware that they are living hand to mouth and they are all close to being in this situation.”

       

      He added: “Houses are not affordable, and once you slip through the net it is a lot harder to get back on the ladder- but there are more empty properties than there are homeless people and that is a problem.”

       

      In the North West, almost 70 per cent of properties are not affordable for families looking to buy their first home.

       

      Trafford is a hot spot for unaffordable homes, where there are just 108 affordable homes.

       

      Stockport, Manchester and Tameside are also hot spots where there are not enough affordable homes for families to live in.

       

      According to the charity, in 2014 only 70 affordable homes were built in the North West.

       

      Mr Wheelan said: “There’s a woman here who is a mum and has two sons.

       

      “She’s homeless and is sleeping rough, but her kids are staying with friends in their houses.

       

      “It is hard for her- no one wants to be homeless, but more than that no one wants their kids to be homeless either.”

       

      Due to most housing now being much higher than the average wage, it would take someone over nine years to save up for a home.

       

      Alongside housing prices, most rent charges have also increased, with most taking up an average of 40 per cent of a person’s income.

       

      Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Nearly 70 per cent of homes on the market are off-limits for a typical family in the North West- and this is nothing short of a scandal.”

       

      He added: “For the next government, whoever that may be, it’s time for the talk to stop and the work to begin.

       

      “Politicians need to act swiftly to deliver the plan that will build the 250,000 homes a year we need, or millions more people will be forced to kiss their dreams of a stable and affordable place to live goodbye.”

       

      Manchester City Council were asked to comment but did not at the time of publication.

       

      By Rebekah Dewhurst

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