Page last updated at 10:27 GMT, Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Huge rise in demand for housing

Torbay council houses
Building plots are limited by restrictions, says Torbay Council

Waiting lists for council houses in Devon are rising rapidly, with Torbay seeing a 300% increase in the past five years.

The waiting list across the whole Devon county area rose by nearly 50% over the same period.

About 25,000 households across Devon and Torbay are now waiting for a council home, the equivalent of a town the size of Totnes.

Last week more than 600 people in Torbay applied for 15 properties.

Salaries are generally low in the South West and property prices are high
Riviera Housing Trust

Simon Shiberski, executive head of communities at Torbay Council, said: "It's not good enough.

"Some people are waiting for up to three years for a three-bedroom house."

He said the situation was made worse by restrictions on development in the South Hams area, much of which is protected as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

He said: "We are are doing everything we can to release as much land as possible to meet people's needs."

Riviera Housing Trust, which provides social housing in Torbay, said in a statement: "We are not surprised by these latest figures as salaries are generally low in the South West and property prices are high.

"With the average income in the region standing at £19,016 per annum, affordable housing for local people will continue to be in great demand."

A government plant to build 592,460 new homes in the South West over the next 20 years is likely to be reduced after a 35,000 responses were received, mostly negative.

Print Sponsor

Major new homes plan reconsidered
25 Sep 09 |  England
Growing waiting lists for housing
26 Feb 09 |  Devon
Council house blues
26 Feb 09 |  UK
Video: Social housing
09 Feb 09 |  Politics Show
Charity fears over social housing
20 Nov 08 |  Today
Downturn 'good' for social housing
19 Jun 08 |  Today

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific