H4SW report – Housing Affordability in the South West of England

Aerial view over suburban community at the edge of a country town in South West England

March 2023 – Homes for the South West (H4SW) has worked with the University of the West of England (UWE) to produce a report on housing affordability and affordable housing need in the South West.

The report is available in full here. Click here to see the results for a particular local authority area.

The research provides the most detailed data ever produced on the South West’s housing affordability  – highlighting that most local authority areas in the South West are significantly less affordable than the rest of England as a whole. 

“This report makes it clear that the housing crisis in South-West England is reaching a breaking point. Years of undersupply have increased house prices and private rents beyond the reach of many and pushed up over-crowding, sofa-surfing, homelessness and council waiting lists,” says Victor da Cunha, Chief Executive of housing association Curo and Chair of Homes for the South West. 

He continues, “The lack of affordable housing in South West England is having a detrimental impact on the regional economy, as essential workers, such as doctors and nurses, are struggling to find suitable housing at levels they can afford. This not only affects the quality of life for these workers but also the provision of essential services for the wider community.”

“As we approach local elections, we would like to see all parties set out their vision for housing. In particular, we think it essential that local authorities revisit their planning guidance to increase the proportion of affordable homes built, and call on the Government to enshrine the 5-year land supply in housing targets – especially considering the suggestion of relaxing these in the recent NPPF consultation”.