With the prices of houses rising in all cities across the UK, it may not come as a surprise to most that the average age of first-time house buyers has been rumoured to hit the age of 40. However, despite the struggles experienced by many in finding affordable housing, York still prided itself in being one of the most ‘equal city in the UK’ regarding various social factors, including on the housing front. However, a recent proposal from the York Welfare Campaign group has highlighted a local housing crisis in York which rocks the city’s equality drive.
The York Welfare Campaign is a York based group which campaigns against many social issues affecting the city, with some issues connecting on a much larger social scale. In this instance, the group have noticed that other world-wise issues such as ‘the economic climate, the government’s welfare “reforms”, [and] the lack of house building’ are all factors which contribute to the struggle to find affordable housing in York . Furthermore, the group have noted that it is not only first time house buyers who struggle with finding affordable housing, but all various social groups and classes finding the search for affordable housing difficult. Many middle-class families have been divided due to their adult children finding it almost impossible to find housing at a reasonable price. Extreme cases have seen some families forced out of the city miles away from employment, friends and other relatives due to high living costs.
Taking a leaf out of Seebohm Rowntree’s book in order to address the issue, York Welfare Campaign have asked for people’s personal stories and experiences, claiming that ‘the experience of those in housing need illuminates the sense of crisis and need for an urgent response’. Rowntree’s own ‘study of town life’ in York in 1901 gathered various people’s opinions and personal stories in order to generate effective research. The focus on a more personal response from people that have experienced the issue first-hand proves for more valuable evidence rather than relying on statistics, which sometimes do not reflect the severity of the problem. The group aim to build on their collection of personal stories in order to represent the city of York, and hopefully improve the housing crisis in the city of York.
York Welfare Campaign have their own website, which you can view here and follow their updates on the bid to combat the housing crisis. Alternatively you can view their Facebook page which gives more information about the group, here.