UNISON calls for 10,000 new homes in North West

– Move could generate £4bn and 75,000 jobs

– Without action housing waiting lists will take 219 years to clear

 UNISON is calling for 10,000 new homes to be built in the North West, to ease housing waiting lists and boost the local economy.

The initiative could create 75,000 jobs and contribute £4bn to the wider economy every £1 invested in construction generates £2.60 elsewhere.

Research by the union comparing social house building and housing waiting lists for every local authority in the North West, reveals that without action it would take 219 years to clear the regions current council housing waiting list.

In Bolton it would take a whopping 2,750 years to clear the waiting lists, in Manchester it would take 644 years, and in Liverpool it would take 222 years.

Kevan Nelson, Head of UNISON in the North West, said:

“A bold programme of house building is what the North West needs to pull out of recession. It would help to end the misery of families being stuck on the housing waiting list for many years.

“Investing in housing is a win-win situation boosting jobs, the local economy and getting families out of substandard and unsuitable accommodation. The government should step in to pump prime our local economy. Private companies are struggling too, with the weak economy undermining their confidence to invest. Even if they were, banks are still not lending”.

Official figures show that there were 238,808 people on council housing waiting lists in the North West and that housing associations and councils started building just 1,090 new homes in 2012.

No new homes were started by either councils or housing associations in Blackpool, Salford, Barrow in Furness, Copeland, Burnley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale, South Ribble and Wyre.

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