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Parts of the UK are facing major housing challenges that include not enough smaller homes for young people or those wishing to downsize, according to a new national report. Among the other issues identified are mortgage debt, the cost of looking after a property, rising rents, being unable to sell in the current market and a higher cost of living in rural areas. The report from national charity Citizens Advice says there needs to be a wider debate about the housing challenges in England and Wales and it is calling for a debate beyond getting people onto the property ladder. Particular problems mentioned include the fact that 1950s and 1960s new town planning decisions in places like Crawley has resulted in not enough small homes for young people or those wanting to downsize and home owners in County Durham struggling to keep up mortgage payments and meet the costs of looking after their home. Young seasonal workers in Blackpool are trapped renting in crumbling bed and breakfasts, whilst owners are unable to sell and people in Conwy, Enfield and Dorchester face spiralling private rents, up-front costs of moving and sub-standard homes rented out by private landlords. Also the growing student population in Exeter has had a major impact on the local infrastructure and people are being driven out of towns in Pembrokeshire by poor housing standards and antisocial behaviour, but struggling with the higher costs of rural living. ‘People's housing challenges vary by where they live. Across the country too many people are living in homes that don't meet their needs from private renters in a damp property or home owners who can't afford to move. Housing is one of the top issues people turn to us for help with, but within this we see a huge range of different problems,’ said Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice. ‘We need a broad-ranging debate about the different housing challenges facing the nation, one that moves beyond just trying to get people onto the property ladder. The new Government has the opportunity now to look at housing problems in the round and consider how best address the range of challenges faced by renters and home owners alike,’ she added. Continue reading →
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