Massive shortfall of new homes looms

Thousands of people in Cambridgeshire could be left fighting for a home they can afford by 2033 as the East of England region faces the biggest rise in households in England – and a massive shortage of new homes.

The number of households in Cambridgeshire will rise 26 per cent from 335,400 to 423,000, according to a new report from the National Housing Federation.

The county will be hit so hard that two Cambridgeshire local authorities made the list of the top ten growth areas nationwide – East Cambridgeshire (6th) and Fenland (10th).

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

A major cause of the household growth is the happy fact that people are living longer, with a 66 per cent rise in over-65s in Cambridgeshire by 2033 and a huge 161 per cent rise in over-85s – the biggest rises seen anywhere across the East of England. By 2033, nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of Cambridgeshire’s population will be aged 65 or over.

With an ageing population comes increased frailty and a growing need for appropriate homes and support: by 2030, the number of over 65s in the East of England who are unable to manage one simple domestic task will have risen 57 per cent to almost 700,000.

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 in Cambridgeshire – to say yes to homes.”

The National Housing Federation is calling on the Government and local politicians to working with the housing industry to tackle the crisis. But public support for building the right homes in the right places is also crucial and we need to help the voices of those who say ‘yes’ to homes to be heard.

The National Housing Federation is launching a new campaign, Yes to Homes, to give local people the chance to show councillors and politicians that new homes matter.

If you’re worried about housing costs or about where your children will live, tell your local councillor or MP that affordable housing is a must. Visit and make your voice heard.