Local housing organisation Yorkshire Coast Homes took part in a national rally to raise awareness about the country’s housing crisis at the weekend and started it off in Whitby.
It is part of the national Homes For Britain campaign that is urging all political parties to address the shortage of affordable housing for a growing and ageing population.
A baton which started off in Whitby on Sunday is being relayed around the county before being delivered in London at a national rally on Tuesday.
Yorkshire Coast Homes chief executive Shaun Tymon ran from Whitby to Scarborough on Sunday for the first leg of the relay and was joined at different sections along the way by staff members.
Joining him on the grand depart from the Coliseum at Whitby were housing manager Mel Tilley and staff member Lewis Walker, plus Gazette reporter Emma Spencer who ran to Hawsker.
Shaun continued to the next stop offs at Robin Hood’s Bay, Ravenscar and Scarborough.
He told the Gazette: “Being able to take part in the Homes for Britain relay has been an extremely satisfying experience. It’s allowed us to put housing visually in the forefront of people’s minds in the run up to the election.
“Personally, to take part in all three elements of the Yorkshire Coast Homes leg of the relay has been both exhausting and rewarding and not without its moments of drama.
“It’s been a great initiative to be part of and we’ll look forward to the rally on March 17 where we will take the message to the heart of Government”.
Homes For Britain says housing demand at both local and national levels is outstripping supply.
Over the next 20 years in Yorkshire alone 369,000 households will be created but by 2013 the shortfall will be 200,000.
In Whitby and along the Yorkshire coast alone this issue is made worse by higher than average house prices and the percentage of second home ownership.
According to housing website Zoopla, the average house price in Whitby is £211,589 compared to an average income of £22,542. That means the average house costs over nine times the income, with mortgage companies only usually lending three times the wage.
An average rent in Whitby is around £613 pcm.
There are 1139 properties on the books at Yorkshire Coast Homes with around 745 on the housing list and 320 of those are judged to be in severe housing need.
Further statistics reveal the deeper extent of the problem as in the space of 11 months between April last year and the beginning of this month just 60 properties became available in Whitby town centre and Sleights and each property receives on average 33 bids.