York Housing Association joins national campaign to end the UK housing crisis

Walkers and cyclists from York will bring a national campaign to the city streets tomorrow (Tuesday 10 March 2015) when York Housing Association hosts the York – Leeds leg of the Homes For Britain relay.

“The housing crisis currently being faced across the country needs to be tackled quickly if we are to make sure that our children can enjoy the most basic living requirement -  a roof over their heads.  If current projections are correct, there will be 369,000 new households requiring homes in Yorkshire alone over the next 20 years, but at the current building rates, there will be a shortfall of 200,000 homes in our region by 2031,” comments York Housing Association’s chief executive, Julia Histon.  “The needs and challenges are different from town to town, even within our operating area, in the triangle from Whitby to Beverley and across to Leeds.  Some areas needing regeneration to create jobs, others simply needing houses that young families can afford within their own communities, but this need for housing will only get worse, and that’s why we’re involved in this campaign.”

The relay is starting in different corners of the country, culminating in the main Homes for Britain rally in Westminster, London on 17 March.  Hundreds of different organisations, headed by the National Housing Federation, will call for politicians across all parties to commit to creating a sustainable national housing plan within the first year of the new government, aiming to tackle the housing crisis within a generation.

The team from York Housing Association welcomed cyclists from Yorkshire Coast Homes, who have travelled down from Whitby and on to Scarborough, as they arrived into York this afternoon.  York Housing Association's own team and staff from Leeds & Yorkshire Housing Association will take the baton from YHA’s Auden House – a complex of 41 apartments with communal facilities for people aged over 55 who need care and support to live independently – on Tuesday morning.  A group of walkers will meet cyclists at Bishopthorpe, who will then carry the baton through rural North Yorkshire over to Scholes, from where Leeds & Yorkshire Housing Association will lead the group into Leeds city centre.

“Our volunteers will be wearing bright pink tabards and carrying flags as they walk, so we’d encourage anyone that spots them enroute to give them a wave and a cheer of support,” adds Kate Spencer, deputy chief executive of YHA, who has co-ordinated this stage.  “We’ll also be tweeting along the way, so hope that people will follow us @YorkHA using the hastag #YorkshireRelay, if they prefer to support us online.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Picture shows:   Shaun Tymon, chief executive of Yorkshire Coast Homes, Julia Histon, chief executive of York Housing Association, and John Hocking, executive director of Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust pause outside York Minster on the Homes for Britain Relay to the Rally.

York Housing Association is an independent social business, established in 1964, managing over 850 properties around York, Leeds, Scarborough and the East Riding.  Alongside its role as a social landlord, YHA additionally provides support services for tenants, from benefits advice to lifestyle advice, including ensuring that tenants have access to appropriate medical services, education and training.  For more details, please visit www.yorkha.org.uk

In Yorkshire, the housing associations taking part in the relay are: Accent Group, Connect Housing, Incommunities, Leeds and Yorkshire Housing Association, Sadeh Lok, York Housing Association, Yorkshire Coast Homes and Yorkshire Housing.  The Yorkshire route runs from Whitby through Scarborough, down to York, across to Leeds, Dewsbury and Huddersfield, before heading across the Pennines to Congleton on 12 March where the relay heads south.

The Homes for Britain campaign for the first time brings together hundreds of organisations behind one single clear message – to end the housing crisis within a generation.  It is steered by eight partners (the National Housing Federation, Chartered Institute of Housing, Crisis, Home Builders Federation, National Housing Building Council, Royal Institute of British Architects, the Residential Landlords Association and the Royal Town Planning Institute).  It is also backed by a wide range of major national charities and umbrella organisations including Shelter and RICs.

Broken Market, Broken Dreams, Home Truths 2014/15 is available to download at www.housing.org.uk/media/home-truths

The National Housing Federation is spearheading the Homes for Britain campaign which calls on the next government to develop a long term plan setting out how they will do this.

For further media information or photographs, please contact:

Jay Commins

Pyper York Limited

Tel:         01904 500698

Email:    jay@pyperyork.co.uk

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