A group of housing associations in the South West are calling on the UK government to take urgent action to tackle a ‘chronic shortage of housing’.

Homes for the South West is made up of 12 housing associations, including GreenSquareAccord which manages properties across Wiltshire.

The members, who house around half a million tenants, believe that there are not enough homes in the South West of England to meet demand and are now calling on the government to provide a clear 5-10 year pipeline of capital spending projects.

According to the housing associations, this would give certainty to companies and contractors in the area, allowing them to invest in training new skilled workers to build the homes.

“The housing crisis in the South West is fast approaching breaking point,” said Louise Swain, chair of Homes for the South West. "Too few homes are being built and we are now one of the least affordable regions in England, behind only London, the East of England, and the South East

“Our manifesto calls for an urgent injection of investment and confidence in our region.

“It also sets out a range of practical steps that could be taken to drive the delivery of new homes so urgently needed by people in the South West.

“This is not just a call for change – but also a commitment from Homes for the South West members to work collaboratively with the Government and local communities to address the challenges facing our region.”

The group’s manifesto has been informed by a study from the University of the West of England which outlines a 200,000 home shortage in the region and a 400 per cent rise in house prices over the past 25 years.

In Swindon specifically, average house prices have increased by 318 per cent while average annual earnings have only increased by 64 per cent.

In order to tackle the housing crisis, Homes for the South West are suggesting using public land for affordable homes, reforming planning rules to speed up the building of new homes and addressing regional inequalities and underinvestment.

As well as GreenSquareAccord, other housing associations who are members of the group calling for change include Abri, Alliance Homes, Bromford, Coastline, Curo, Live West, Magna, Plymouth Community Homes, Sovereign Network Group, Stonewater and Westward.