250,000 houses 'needed each year'
Campaign group Housing Voice called on the Government to take emergency action to tackle the property "crisis" including extending help with deposits for first time buyers into the existing property market rather than just new builds.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
Lord Larry Whitty, the former Labour party general secretary who chaired the review, said: "The evidence we have received demonstrates that the housing market throughout England is breaking down. There is serious dysfunction in all regions and all parts of the housing market.
"Successive governments have prioritised owner occupation, but it is now in decline and we are reaching a tipping point when the average age of first time buyers could soon be over 40 - potentially spelling an end for the traditional 25 year mortgage.
"Building more homes requires substantial new resources in both the public and the private sectors.
"There is clearly a case for urgent, concerted and cross party action at local and national level. We need a strategic- not piecemeal - approach and one which has wide public support and can therefore be sustained."
The inquiry found 250,000 new homes a year were needed and called for one third of those to be classed as affordable.
Geoff Fimister from Citizens Advice said: "Affordability is a major issue for Citizens Advice clients seeking help with housing issues. "In the year to this April, bureaux received over 233,000 inquiries on Housing Benefit; over 104,000 on rent arrears; over 91,000 on mortgage arrears; over 70,000 on threatened homelessness; and over 25,000 on actual homelessness.
"Behind the statistics lie hardship, disruption to family life and failed housing policy. We were more than happy to contribute to Lord Whitty's inquiry - it could scarcely be more timely."
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