50 bids for every vacant Hull council house
MORE than 50 people are chasing every empty council house in the city.
Demand is currently outstripping supply, with more than 9,700 applicants on Hull City Council's housing waiting list.
As the city's largest landlord, the authority is receiving an average of 54 bids for every vacant property.
A number of housing-led regeneration schemes collapsed or stalled in Hull as a result of funding cutbacks announced by the Government following the general election.
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Since then, only limited Whitehall funding has been allocated to maintain momentum in areas such as Newington and St Andrew's in west Hull and the Ings estate in east Hull.
Councillor John Black, cabinet member for housing strategy, said the time was now right for ministers to help bolster the city's economy by supporting more affordable housing schemes.
Referring to last week's announcement by fish oil firm Seven Seas of its plans to move out of the city, he said: "We have seen recent further evidence of problems in Hull's economy.
"New investment in homes and the construction jobs created as a result of this investment are desperately needed in Hull.
"The city is ready to take advantage of any new money to build affordable homes in the city and has a proven track record of delivery with developers and registered social housing partners. We have already delivered 421 homes in the three years and are on with the delivery of a further 1,300 new homes, which is creating and safeguarding 485 jobs."
Cllr Black said council officers were now reviewing previous development plans for priority housing areas to make them "oven ready" for new funding from the Government.
He said: "We say to the Government, show us the money and we can build more homes and create jobs."
Under the council's housing allocation policy, people have to submit bids for vacant properties.
Each two-bedroom council property becoming available in the city is attracting an average of 90 bids.
Overall, the council is receiving about 175 new applications for housing every week.
However, ministers have recently indicated they want to remove requirements on developers to provide so-called affordable housing within new housing schemes.
At yesterday's city council cabinet meeting, Councillor John Hewitt said he was concerned local policies on quotas for affordable housing were in danger of being swept aside.
He said: "These latest proposals from the Government might end up making a massive difference in places like Hull."
Meanwhile, small house-builders say the recession is continuing to stifle the construction industry.
A new survey by the Federation of Master Builders says workloads have declined across the sector.