FEWER than three per cent of homes in Oxford are affordable to first-time buyers, a study has found.
Homeless charity Shelter surveyed 532 two-or-more bedroom houses in the city and found just two of them were within reach of an average couple with children.
A single person on £21,531 a year could chose between three houses, and even a couple without children on £43,000 had only 12 houses within their reach to buy.
Matt Neville, a research scientist at Oxford’s Churchill Hospital, earns £40,000 a year, but cannot afford the deposit on a mortgage.
Mr Neville, who rents a house for £800 a month in Mark Road, Headington, said: “I am divorced, I have a daughter, and it is impossible to find a house.
“I have a good job but I pay child support, I really don’t know what I will do in the long term.
“My daughter, Hannah, comes to stay with me at weekends, and while I could put all my money into a mortgage, I wouldn’t be able to offer her the quality of life.”
Oxford East MP Andrew Smith said the problem was “acute”. He said: “These Shelter findings certainly confirm what I hear talking to people in Oxford in relation to the impossibility of buying a house or flat and the increasing difficulty people are having to afford levels of rent.
“I feel especially sorry for young people who have grown up in Oxford.
“This is their home town, yet even with a good job with a reasonable starting salary they can’t afford to buy a home.”
Mr Smith said he was “absolutely crystal clear” what the cause of the problem was.
“We are not building enough houses in Oxfordshire to meet the need.
Our top stories:
Oxfordshire ambulance services accused of "playing god" and "putting lives at risk" in new drug trial
9:00am Tuesday 27th January 2015
CARDIAC arrest patients could be given a salt solution instead of adrenaline as part of a new medical trial in Oxfordshire.
4:10pm Tuesday 27th January 2015
Heavy snow is set to hit the county on Thursday morning, according to the Met Office.
2:57pm Tuesday 27th January 2015
THE jury in the Ben Blakeley trial has been sent home for the night.
2:15pm Tuesday 27th January 2015
A 15-year-old boy was approached by a man in a blue van in Bicester yesterday
12:49pm Tuesday 27th January 2015
THE funeral of an Oxford Railway Station staff member will be held next week.
12:43pm Tuesday 27th January 2015
THE foster mother of the alleged victim of child prostitution told a jury yesterday how her daughter was sent across the country for sex.
“That is why we have 20,000 people driving through the Green Belt every day to come and work in Oxford.”
Oxfordshire’s district councils need to build 100,000 homes by 2031, according to the latest Strategic Housing Market Assessment.
Mr Smith said that building in Oxford was difficult because of the tight constriction of the city’s Green Belt, where homes are not supposed to be built.
He said councils would have to ‘bite the bullet’ and look at where they could build on green fields.
Shelter also urged the Government to get more houses built across the country.
Chief executive Campbell Robb said: “When a family looking to buy their first home searches a whole town for a place to live and finds nothing they can afford, it’s clear we’re not just facing a housing shortage any more – it’s a full-blown drought.”