Fewer than ten per cent of new homes built in York last year were affordable – but there are no plans to change housing policy.
According to figures from the Labour group, more than 970 new homes were completed in the city in 2017 – but just 90 of them were affordable.
And one housing expert told councillors that “York’s loss is Selby’s gain” as he claimed more people are being priced out of the city.
Cllr Margaret Wells (Labour, Clifton) asked councillors to consider increasing the proportion of affordable housing built on council sites – currently set at 40 per cent – at a full council meeting on Thursday. She said:
In the last six years there were only around 700 affordable homes that have been completed.
Last year the figure was 90. I expect the majority of members have come across more than 90 families in their ward that need affordable housing.
I’d like you to bear in mind the number of affordable homes we have delivered and asked is it enough?
But Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors voted against reviewing the amount of affordable housing built on council sites.
Cllr Ann Reid (Liberal Democrat, Dringhouses and Woodthorpe) said: “We can can continue to tackle these housing pressures by allowing the council to continue its programme to deliver quality and affordable homes at pace.
“As a result of decisions by this administration the council has taken the strategic lead to deliver mixed tenure housing on sites across the city, accelerating housing delivery and providing much-needed affordable homes.”
And Cllr Peter Dew (Conservative, Rawcliffe and Clifton Without) added:
Who pays for affordable housing?
It’s not the philanthropic developers. It comes from the people who are paying full price.
Micklegate resident and retired housing professional Richard Clark, speaking at the meeting, said: “York is rated by the Centre For Cities as having the greatest inequality between the well-off and the badly-off of any city in the north of England.
“According to Lloyds Bank, York is the least affordable city in the north of England from a housing point of view and the provision of social housing has fallen to a historic low.”
Between April 1 2016 and March 31 2017, 977 houses were completed in York according to the council’s Full Year Housing Monitoring Update.