Home > Vital Signs > Vital Signs North East: Homes

Vital Signs North East: Homes

Our ground-breaking study of the scale, dynamics and needs of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in North East England.

Homes challenges

In general, the housing and homelessness situation in the North East is more in line with the national picture, and we may even be doing a little better in areas such as housing affordability and numbers of rough sleepers. But there is no doubt that being in line with England is not enough when as a nation we face a situation that is dire enough to be characterised by some campaigning charities as a ‘housing emergency’ or ‘housing crisis.’ And we must recognise that many people in our region do not yet enjoy their right to a decent and secure home.

  • National challenges: lack of affordable, adequate and good quality housing; inadequate regulation of the private rented sector and issues with housing quality and security of tenure; unacceptable levels of homelessness and rough sleeping.
  • North East England challenges: supply of affordable and social housing in e.g. coastal and rural areas; expanding private rented sector with potential quality and security of tenure issues; serious shortage of accessible housing and possible discrimination in the rental market; higher numbers of indebted households at risk of repossession.

Economic indicator North East England South East
Housing tenure %
     Home owners (owns outright) 32 33 34
     Home owners (mortgage/loan/shared ownership) 28 30 33
     Social housing tenants 22 17 14
     Private rented tenants 17 21 19
Multiples of median annual earnings needed to cover median house price x5 x8 x10
Proportion of non-decent homes  24 26 29
% of households with problem debt  5 4.5 4
Number of households per 1000 with initial assessment of homeless  7 7 5
And those ‘threatened with homelessness’  9 6 5
Youth homelessness rate  2% 2% 2%
% of England’s rough sleepers  2 100 17

Houses opportunities

Despite the challenges there are a number of opportunities in North East England via:

  • Housing affordability, quality and overcrowding less problematic than in other English regions
  • Effective charities working directly on housing issues and homelessness; many other community organisations doing work which addresses their root causes
  • Civil society organisations have capability to work effectively with statutory bodies on
    policy and practice

The Community Foundation believes philanthropy can have the most impact on housing and homelessness in three areas:

Addressing root causes of homelessness:

  • Support for organisations tackling poverty, social exclusion and health inequalities
  • help for young people so they’re better placed to avoid homelessness

Read the full report here

Supporting people who are inadequately housed, homeless or at risk of becoming homeless:

  • advice, information and advocacy
  • provision of housing
  • preventing or addressing the worst impacts of homelessness
  • filling gaps in existing services

Read the full report here

Research and campaigning:

  • with a particular focus on influencing housing and homelessness policy and practice so that it better meets the needs of individuals and communities of place, interest and identity in the North East.

Read the full report here

Vital Signs Reports

The most recent reports from Vital Signs are here