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SALFORD COUNCIL FIGURES SHOW HALF OF SALFORD PEOPLE CAN’T AFFORD A LOW COST HOUSE
 

Star date: 17th February 2015
STAGGERING STATISTICS SHOW 50% OF SALFORD FAMILIES CAN'T AFFORD TO BUY A LOW COST HOUSE – AND 30% CAN'T AFFORD PRIVATE RENT

Staggering new figures from a Salford City Council affordability report show that half the city's families can't afford to buy even a low cost house, while a third can't afford to rent privately.

Meanwhile, social rents are increasing and only 77 affordable houses will be built via Section 106 agreements with developers who are currently splattering the city with huge unaffordable apartment blocks and houses. The city's planning scandal is growing.

Full details here...


Latest figures from Salford City Council show that the city's housing crisis is getting worse, with half of all families not being able to afford even a low cost house and one third not being able to afford private rents.

To get anywhere near solving the problem, the Council reckons it needs an extra 887 affordable properties a year – and this at a time when developers are using `viability' loopholes to avoid contributing to the shortage.

The Council's housing affordability report shows that the average `lower quartile' house price during the first six months of 2014 was £85,000, and to be able to afford one of these low cost houses a household would need to have an income of £24,286, using the standard house price to income ratio of 3.5.

According to Experian household income data for Salford, out of a total 106,128 households in the city 53,071 of them earn less than £24,286. Which means that half of all Salford families cannot afford to buy even a low cost house.

Meanwhile, based on Shelter and Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimates that no more than a third of income should be spent on rent, and that the average `lower quartile' private rent in Salford is £495 per month, to be able to afford this households would have to be bringing in £18,000 a year...

... According to 2014 Experian income data, there are 34,915 households in Salford with an income of less than £18,000, which is 33% of the total 106,128. So one third of all Salford households cannot afford to rent privately – and half of all Salford households cannot afford to buy. Which only leaves social housing to sort the problem. And there's fewer and fewer of these properties available.

Over the past nine years, the Salford Star has investigated the loss of affordable housing, particularly in Central Salford, where whole estates full of affordable housing in Broughton, Langworthy, Pendleton, Lower Kersal and Charlestown have been bulldozed to be replaced with largely unaffordable `market' housing.

The latest example is Countryside Properties planning application for houses near The Meadows which will have no affordable housing (see here). Like Countryside, other property developers and speculators that are building huge blocks of apartments and houses for `young professionals' are also avoiding social housing obligations using `viability' clauses – ie that if their profits aren't high enough they don't have to bother with social housing or obligatory `Section 106' payments. Even the Assistant Mayor for Planning called it a `public scandal of immense proportions' (see here).

The Council report states that it "will need to ensure that it seeks to maximise the affordable contribution secured through planning obligations, whilst still having regard to the impact such requirements will have on scheme viability."

A mere 77 affordable homes are being built from Section 106 agreements, while the Council is currently sitting on a `commuted sum' of £310,357 which might be used for affordable homes in the future. On top of this, there's Government funding for 857 affordable homes through to 2017 but it's nowhere near enough to fill the need in the city. Council calculations based on all directions of demand produce a figure of 887 affordable homes needed every year.

Just 16 social rent properties were built and completed last year (2013-14). The current trend is to provide the very misleading `affordable rent' properties – which are 80% of market rent, compared to 40-60% in social rent (see here). There were 128 of these `affordable rent' properties completed last year, and 25 `intermediate' houses. Even if these latter properties are classed as affordable houses, the total of 169 is well short of the 887 needed.

Meanwhile, the numbers of Salford households on the housing waiting list rose from 10,251 in 2013 to 11,498 in 2014. And latest figures show that there were an average of 27 bids for every affordable flat that became available in Salford and 38 bids for every affordable house. 


* See also previous Salford Star article: Salford Council attacks Housing Waiting List Allocations Policy - click here 

clockwoodmail@gmail.com wrote
at 23:02:31 on 20 February 2015
Precisely - This big problem being these so called social housing outfits are spending hundreds of millions in the Salford area face lifting properties at the expense of hard working people. What happens? Rents increase, defeating the whole objective of enabling tenants to pay their own way. HENCE THE REASON WHY SO MANY IN SALFORD RELY 100% ON HOUSING BENEFIT. At the same time the very people who should be attempting to reduce rents are paid extortionate amounts indirectly by the taxpayer. I smell a few rats!!!!!
 
Bernard Brough wrote
at 07:27:11 on 20 February 2015
Mr Thompson, you ask who is at fault, I'll tell you. Successive governments who have presided over the deindustrialisation of the whole country and allowed jobs to be exported across the globe without as much as a whimper. It is rampant laisez faire economics which as lead to an explosion in house prices. It is the selling off of council housing without building adequate replacement housing. Blaming those most adversely affected is the easy way, but does nothing to alleviate the problems facing Salford and many other cities across Britain. You claim people want a "free ride" I'd say if it is good enough for politicians and bankers not to mention the Saxe Coburg Gotha family it's good enough for the people of Salford.
 
ben wrote
at 17:01:47 on 19 February 2015
I have to agree with every word Phil Thompson says is true I and my wife are Salford Born and raised but felt we HAD to leave to have a better standard of living for our family. Salford was the best place in the world to grow up in a thriving market and great people, but this has all given way to dodgy deals and a council that wont ever be shifted and will do as they like. It ahs been run down and looks dirty and worn out. we visited the precinct a few weeks ago and I was shocked at the lack of quality shops.
 
Kenneth mckelvey wrote
at 07:07:27 on 19 February 2015
when You Look Back At The Thousands of Of Good Solid Stock Brick Houses That Were Demolished By Salford Council To Suit Iffy Developers And Building Contractor You Could Weep Prime Examples Were In Langworthy North & South Higher Broughton Charlestown Duchy The List Is Endless They was Even Going To Demolish The Spike Island Estate After The EEC Had Donated Millions To Have It All Regenerated I said it Then and I Will Say It Now The Regeneration Programme in Salford Stank It Was Bent Frim Start To Finish The Winners Were The Council And The Devolopers Loser Were The People of Salford Yours Sincerly KW Mckelvey 1
 
Face palm wrote
at 07:06:44 on 19 February 2015
Michael F - amazing razor sharp insight there, wow, give the man a job at the Telegraph. :/
 
Labour Voter wrote
at 07:06:36 on 19 February 2015
DragQueen EXPOSES salford city council! Bet the Metro news wishes it'd come up with this story.
 
Michael F in Felse wrote
at 14:14:28 on 18 February 2015
@Salford4Sale. I hang my head. In fact if I were the Conservative MP Candidate for Salford/Eccles I would take this question to Mr Cameron to ensure all local people get to know who are to blame for our service failure. By putting out a news-sheet through our trusted Salford Star editorial the PM could throw light on this truth equation. How can we get justice if Salford voters get to hear only what I see as masked facts. The opposition need to sit up, stand up and take responsibility for them failing to inform local people.
 
Civic centre stench wrote
at 09:24:56 on 18 February 2015
This is really showing up the councils policy of compulsory purchasing areas of Salford. Running down areas of affordable terraced housing, then slapping compulsory purchase orders on them, in order to let developers make money was a shite idea. Ripping people off for their homes and then building replacement properties costing 3 times or more as much is not a way to let people achieve home ownership. Something smells funny from up there at the civic centre.
 
Salford for sale wrote
at 09:24:53 on 18 February 2015
@michael felse, so why do you still support this labour council and dos't your question just highlight what I and others have been saying, that this council dos't have to touch any service, it's just this labour council playing politics with the most vulnarable people in salford, now we know that these cuts have nothing to do with the goverment, but with labour playing games, problem is when are the people going to wake up to the fact.
 
Michael F in Felse wrote
at 05:27:00 on 18 February 2015
What we should be looking at here is a match with the City Mayor Revenue Budget Report dated 28th Feb 2014. It outlines the Council income for this year. At item 1.9.7 are Council Tax bands. Band A lowest is £768 to Band H highest at £3072 per year. Just for a bit of fun let's say average Council Tax is Band D £1326. Now ask a Salford Junior School pupil to multiply the household numbers (Salford Star on this page says 106,128 households). Match £ answer with amount shown on Mayor Revenue Budget Report (Council Tax income £74.8m this year). So is anyone able to tell vulnerable people why Salford services are unaffordable based on the factual calculation?
 
Phil Thompson wrote
at 05:26:13 on 18 February 2015
But who's fault is it that these people can't afford to buy a property, ven a modest property, with all the assistance that there is out there to help?? Is Salford now the borough of the unwashed? If so, I'm ashamed to come from Salford and in certainly glad that I moved away.... It was once the heartland of industry and industrious people. Now It seems it's full of those that just want a free ride in life and then happy to blame everyone else for their lack of, well, everything, it would seem.
 
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