York is facing a housing crisis. In 2010/2011 homelessness in York was up 40% on the previous year. Private Rented Accommodation is expensive and insecure. A recent report by Shelter noted that York is one of very few exceptions in the north where ‘average rents are on a par with those seen in the South East and East of England’.
On top of this, the changes in Housing Benefit mean that of 6299 private rented properties previously affordable in the city, 3700 will be lost, almost 50%. This is effectively driving people out of York and away from their jobs, families and friends.
York’s Broad Market Rental Area which determines the level of Housing Benefit available currently includes Tadcaster and Selby, Pocklington and surrounding areas, all of which have lower rent levels and which has the knock on effect of driving down the average rent for the whole area and setting an unrealistic low level of Housing Benefit in York as a city.
We call on the Housing Minister to make a simple administrative change – to change the boundary of the Broad Market Rental Area to only include the city. This will much reduce the pressure on people and mean that people can stay in the city they call their home.