East Anglia: Warning over shortage of houses as population set to rise by 500,000 in region

THOUSANDS of people in the East of England could be left fighting for a home they can afford by 2033 as the region faces a population boom.

There will also a massive shortage of new housing, according to a new report from the National Housing Federation.

The number of households in the East will grow 27%, rising from 2.5million to 3.m.

The federation claims the region will be hit so hard that seven East of England local authorities – including Colchester, Suffolk Coastal, Tendring, Ipswich, and Mid Suffolk – make the list of the top 10 household growth areas nationwide.

But the National Housing Federation’s report for the region warns that we’re only building half the homes we need to house the 32,000 families that are forming each year. The report claims the rise in demand for homes, coupled with such limited supply, will cause house prices and rents to rocket in the East of England.

A major cause of the household growth is the fact that people are living longer, with a 58% rise in over-65s in the East by 2033 and a huge 141% rise in over-85s.

However, with an ageing population comes increased frailty and a growing need for appropriate homes and support – by 2030, the number of people aged 65 and over who are unable to manage one simple domestic task will have risen 57% to almost 700,000.

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Claire Astbury, East of England lead manager at the National Housing Federation, said: “This is a problem that will not go away unless we take action. Our population is increasing, with people living longer and more single-person households, and this only increases the pressure on our struggling housing market.

“If the housing crisis doesn’t affect you now, the chances are it will in the next few years – if not you, then your children, your parents or your friends.

“House prices and rents are already out of reach for many families, with thousands of working people having to rely on Government support to pay their rent and waiting lists for social housing increasing.

“We are quite simply not building enough homes to keep up with demand, and unless this changes, the situation is only going to get worse. It’s time for us all – politicians, industry and local people – to say yes to homes.”