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Home ownership in Lichfield out of reach to many, report warns

A new report by Lichfield District Council has warned that home ownership in the city is “out of reach to many”.

The local authority also confirmed that 2,910 households were on the social housing waiting list as the district struggles to cope with demand for affordable accomodation. Of that number, 343 were also classed as homeless or potentially homeless.

The report – which has been drawn up as part of the council’s homelessness strategy – will go before the Community, Housing and Environment Health (Overview & Scrutiny) Committee next week.

But it paints a bleak picture for first time buyers and those on low incomes.

“The affordability ratio, which is the ratio of house prices to incomes is high, meaning that home ownership is out of reach to many, particularly would be first time buyers,” the report explained.

“There is also a high incidence of larger detached dwellings and an undersupply of smaller dwellings which limits choice and housing options for residents.

“Despite a recent slight reduction, the average house price in the district is still out of the reach of many households, with them remaining the highest in Staffordshire for the past five years.”

The report also said that a limited private rented sector and less than 100 shared houses was making the situation worse.

“While there is a clear need for additional affordable housing within the district to meet identified needs, it is also important to focus on activity which will allow people to remain in their existing home for as long as possible, and therefore limit additional demand,” the report continued.

“This means that our homelessness prevention activities have a vital contribution to make by removing the need for people to move when, with help, they could remain in their existing home.”

The breakdown of relationships was behind the highest proportion of people contacting the council about housing needs during 2012-13 (709 people), while 172 enquiries related to mortgage problems.

Although 13 rough-sleepers contacted the local authority regarding housing, the report said the “small number” meant there was no “direct access hostel or specific supported accomodation” for this group of people.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

25 Comments

  1. Marion Bland

    24th September, 2013 at 11:11 am

    As a City councillor for Chadsmead ward,I have been stressing the need for homes to rent for families.
    This report comes as no surprise,as we Liberal Democrats have been warning of this for many years,and indeed held a meeting in 2008 to highlight the plight of young people in our District.
    I trust that the Council take note.
    Councillor Marion Bland

  2. Cynic

    24th September, 2013 at 11:46 am

    “As a City councillor for Chadsmead ward,I have been stressing the need for homes to rent for families.”

    Are you talking about “Families” or mom with kids?

    What about telling people not to have “Families” unless they can afford them?

    If they are unemployed ,or what ever the code word is today for not working, why do they not move to a cheaper area?

  3. Foxy

    24th September, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Cynic : Your comment is simply demonizing single Mothers.
    Contraception isn’t 100% successful.
    You suggesting we stop having sex?

    I’m a single. Man, no kids, I’ve struggled to keep a roof over my head in this recession.
    Watch what you say, you might upset someone.

  4. Foxy

    24th September, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    So what Cynic thinks is that we should move away from our friends and families, but bus back to lichfield to work in our minimum wage job, serving their landlord in a restaurant.

    HAhahahahahaha.

  5. Jozef Nakielski

    24th September, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Ditto foxy
    husbands go off with ‘sluty husband stealers, some lie and just walk away, some die. It isn’t always the single mum that can’t keep her pants on till after she knows his name.

    We need more social housing for those that want social housing. BUT we need more starter homes. I’d much rather see people start to buy their own starter homes and get on the ladder than go into rented accommodation. its a trap that is very very difficult to get out of. When you’re working its hard to save up a deposit and when you aren’t it’s impossible.

    I believe society needs to help those at the bottom climb the ladder, not keep there there so those already on it can climb higher. This government seems hell bent on keeping them there and then blames them for stopping there so punishes them, which keeps them there even longer.
    They’d rather help nigerians build their space station than help us get off benefits

  6. Cynic

    24th September, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Foxy “bus back to lichfield to work ” I think I said “If they are unemployed ” but don’t let the truth get in your way.

  7. Cynic

    24th September, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Foxy”Watch what you say” I would much rather people joined the debate with constructive comment than what appears to be a veiled threat!

  8. johnthemon

    24th September, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    “As a City councillor for Chadsmead ward,I have been stressing the need for homes to rent for families.”

    Why is it every time something like this comes up there is always one or another councillor that knew of the problems long before everyone else. “Stressing” isn’t enough, I would suggest a hunger strike or something like that, because that is what it is going to take to draw attention, mind you that would mean doing something positive.

  9. Makeyourownluck

    24th September, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    I was brought up in Lichfield but had to move somewhere cheaper in the 90’s to buy a house as I couldn’t afford to buy here.

    However, I made it back here a few years ago as I always intended to do, by working hard, trying and shaping my own future.

    Why does it have to be handed on a plate to people who don’t try these days? They can do it if they really try, regardless of their social upbringing or circumstances, and believe me, qualifications count for nothing compared to hard work and a decent attitude!

  10. Foxy

    24th September, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    Shall i remind people of the 343 classed as homeless or potentially homeless, along with 13 rough sleepers.

    There’s a housing crisis.
    Blaming it on the unemployed, single mothers, and the poorest lowest paid is absolutely ridiculous.

    Thinly veiled threats? just saying you’ll upset people. Wise up.

    And as for Makeyourownlucks rags to riches story.
    Well done *golf clap*.

    If only everyone was as totally amazing as you, we’d have a real boom in the economy driven from the bottom upwards, the capitalists won’t be able to print money and invest it quick enough, they’ll be totally caught with their pants down.

    You should write a self help book for everybody.
    You think no one else tries, when you never really think.. you just got lucky.

  11. Cynic

    25th September, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Foxy “you just got lucky”
    I feel quite sorry for you.
    It is unlikely you will ever make anything of yourself because you think luck and not hard work/ perseverance and self respect has helped people get on in life . You have managed to find accommodation for one – so it does exist in Lichfield.

  12. Jozef Nakielski

    25th September, 2013 at 12:49 am

    I heard it even depends on your name as to how successful you are so the hard work, perseverance and self respect bull doesn’t work in reality, you have to suck up, you have to fit, give back handers . I could go far in politics if I wanted to, But honesty, integrity and self respect mean more to me. I’ve worked hard all these years and lost everything that I had.

  13. Jozef Nakielski

    25th September, 2013 at 12:55 am

    I was lucky when i were young. I had so much money I used to forget to sign on, and the giros used to sit in the draw for 3 months till they were out out date. I didn’t know what to do with it all so I got my self a woman. She soon got rid of it for me. I’ve been poor ever since.

  14. Foxy

    25th September, 2013 at 2:40 am

    Cynic – theres almost 3000 households on the social housing waiting list.

    it’s quite obvious there are houses in Lichfield, i can see them out of my window. The problem – is that there aren’t enough, nor enough affordable ones, nor enough housing association houses.

    That’s what this article is about, rather than Cynics ideas that all the poor people should be working harder, and not having children.

  15. Cynic

    25th September, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Foxy – ” rather than Cynics ideas that all the poor people should be working harder, and not having children.” -“we should move away from our friends and families” –
    Those comments tend to suggest you live in a very small world limited by the city boundary! No mom/uncles/aunts/grand parents etc that have cut the apron strings moved on made new friends and improved their lot by hard work.
    I am also surprised you do not seem to mind paying high tax to fund our welfare culture which is too high and even the red end tend to agree we need cuts to balance the books.

  16. Cynic

    25th September, 2013 at 11:19 am

    “I got my self a woman” You spent it on wine women and song – the rest was wasted!

  17. Cynic

    25th September, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Foxy – “theres almost 3000 households on the social housing waiting list.”
    Are they people living in Lichfield who would like a better house – or people who live else ware who would like to come to our (for the time being) fair city?
    A cite would be nice.

  18. Foxy

    25th September, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Compared to the costs of bailing out the Bankers – the taxes for welfare is very low.
    You suggest i live in a small world limited by the cities boundaries, and your insinuations that maybe poor people should move to somewhere else.

    Maybe you should leave the city for somewhere much more up market.
    But you probably can’t afford too – you just think you’re better and more hard working than everybody else.

    Lets face facts – it’s hardly Little Aston here is it?

  19. Pips

    25th September, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    “not exactly Little Aston” – depends on which area of Lichfield you live in

  20. Cynic

    26th September, 2013 at 12:30 am

    Foxy -I notice you forgot to answer my question.
    One of the reasons for a debate is to try and enhance knowledge.
    Before one can solve a problem we have to ascertain what the problem is!
    You quote 3000 households (I take nothing on face value) are they in Lichfield – another area ?
    I see nothing wrong with people living within their means and if they can not afford Lichfield there are plenty of lower cost areas. Just like most people have a car they can afford or sausages instead of fillet steak.

    “you should leave the city ” I have probably worked in more cities than you have had years (LOL).

  21. Cynic

    27th September, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    I see we have not had details about the 3000 households so I will write as I understand the situation. The 3000 are as near fiction as you can get! Very few ,if any, are homeless in Lichfield . Apparently the system is you have to state you have a connection with Lichfield to get on this list- such as you met a person who once met some one in Spain and they said how nice Lichfield is.
    Charity begins at home -that is Lichfield.
    If these (3000 families)people want to be near some one from Lichfield what about the Lichfield people going to them? The cost of homes for 3000 is circa £600Million plus schools infrastructure etc.
    Where do we find such a huge amount of money?
    But if all their friends go to them we will have a lot of houses to give the needy of Lichfield a very big choice – at no cost and a corresponding reduction of pressure on our infrastructure – all at no cost to Lichfield residents.
    Just try and imagine someone from where ever being told -There are no homes or jobs in Lichfield so why go?

  22. Jozef Nakielski

    27th September, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    For a small fee i will say that i once went to Lichfield and how very nice it is too.

  23. Fradley guy

    27th September, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    This falls in line with what we were discussing on another post.

    We need to build at least a 1000 homes now

  24. Jozef Nakielski

    28th September, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    found this about bedroom tax, apparently the answer to bedroom tax is to build more social housing next door to Cynic .
    http://blog.moneysavingexpert.com/2013/09/24/why-the-bedroom-tax-should-be-scrapped/

  25. Cynic

    28th September, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    “build more social housing next door to Cynic .”
    That’s a bit unkind – I have employed a lot of the great unwashed and even taught them how to doff their cap or tug their forelock.