A 91-year-old great grandfather and former postman is just one of the residents at Pickering & Ferens Homes supporting a campaign calling for the national housing shortage to be addressed.
Ken Newlove, who lives at our Humber View sheltered housing scheme, is proud to be taking part promoting the Homes for Britain Relay to the Rally as part of a nationwide call to end the housing crisis within a generation.
The Relay to the Rally is seeing everything from buses and bikes through to running shoes and walking boots hit the road to Westminster in time for the Homes for Britain rally on March 17. To take part in the initiative, residents and members of the Pickering and Ferens Homes team are joining together to do their own mini rally here in Hull to show their support for this cause.
Mr Newlove has witnessed almost a century of housing shortages in the country and has experienced first hand the harsh reality of growing up in unimaginable living conditions.
“When I was a young lad we didn’t even have any electricity in the house and we used to have to strike a match to light the gas – it’s a wonder we didn’t blow ourselves up,” he said.
“My sister died aged 13 as a result of our living conditions and my brother joined the army just to get away from the house. We didn’t sleep with blankets, we just had to use our coats. The toilet and tin bath were outside in the yard and it was just terrible, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Whenever the River Hull flooded it all came down into our house on Wincolmlee.
“I call it paradise where I live now in the sheltered accommodation at Pickering and Ferens Homes. It’s lovely, warm and safe – even if I won the lottery I wouldn’t move from where I am, it’s just wonderful.
“I wish I’d be able to see what housing looks like in another 90 years from now, I imagine things will be very different and if I could have one wish for people in this city it’s that they all have access to a decent standard of living and suitable accommodation. This applies to all ages from children through to those in later life, everybody deserves to live in a decent, affordable home.”
Homes for Britain is campaigning for the next government to come up with a long-term plan to tackle the housing crisis within a year of getting into office. It is being backed by thousands of people up and down the country who have joined forces with organisations from every corner of the housing world.
Many parts of Yorkshire and Humber are in desperate need of regeneration. With almost 28,000 empty properties, Yorkshire and Humber suffers from almost double the proportion of long-term empty homes as the South East. Demand patterns have changed and many have fallen into serious disrepair.
Yorkshire and Humber is not building enough new homes to keep up with demand. Over the next 20 years 369,000 households are expected to form in the region. At current building rates that would leave a shortfall of over 200,000 homes by 2031.
Pickering and Ferens Homes Chief Executive Claire Warren said: “Pickering and Ferens Homes has continued to attempt to address the housing shortage in the region, providing high quality homes for people as their needs change in later life but more funding is needed across the UK as a whole to ensure that decent housing is available for all.
“This rally is important in addressing the issues which affect us as a housing association, so we felt it necessary to do our part and hold a rally of our own.”