Shared ownership to help ‘generation renters’ in Harrogate


Council cash could be put toward a trial shared ownership housing scheme if Cabinet approve plans at a meeting next week.

Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet will be asked to approve spending £155,745 on a shared ownership scheme at a meeting next Wednesday April 23.

This comes as the National Housing Federation revealed house prices in Harrogate have risen by 65 per cent over the past 10 years, something they say has made home ownership in Harrogate ‘a distant dream for many.’

A report by the National Housing Federation had blamed the lack of house building in Yorkshire for the high cost of homes.

It also found that Harrogate is second only to Hambleton in Yorkshire for the ratio of house prices to income. The report has found that the mean average house price in Harrogate is £264,574, 12.5 times the average income of £21,225.

Daniel Klemm, Yorkshire and the Humber external affairs manager for the National Housing Federation, said: “High house prices, rising rents and stagnant wages in Yorkshire are not only making life extremely difficult for people living and working in the region, but they are also affecting employers and businesses and risk holding back economic growth.

“Young workers in the area are becoming a generation of renters, unable to get on the housing ladder and faced with continually rising rents.”

The survey blames a lack of house building for creating a ‘generation rent’.

A report due to go before HBC’s Cabinet by principal development officer Jenny Wood states: “There is significant unmet need for affordable housing and for many households there is a preference for home ownership which rented housing fails to address.”

The report goes on to say that just two households in Harrogate have benefitted from the governments Help to Buy scheme which was launched in April 2013, and the average price of these home was £290,000, ‘well beyond the means of most first time buyers.’

The council report reveals that 50 per cent of new households in Harrogate cannot afford to rent or buy in the district, the highest number in North Yorkshire and that social housing and private rents are not an option for many.

A £155,000 pilot share ownership scheme would fun eight homes for first time buyers in the district.

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