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West housing crisis: 85,000 new homes needed

Credit: ITV West Country

People in the West are being asked for their ideas on how to meet the area's housing and transport needs for the next 20 years.

Councils for Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire estimate that

85,000
new homes will be needed

in the next

20
years, which is
30,000
more than planned

Options being considered include building more tower blocks and building on greenfield and brownfield sites.

The public consultation starts today, and will run until January 29th.

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Bristol housing crisis: At least 5 people competing for each rental home

Campaigners protest against Bristol letting agent in April. Credit: ITV West Country

With rents going up and calls for more affordable housing, Bristol's housing crisis continues - as an estate agent tells ITV News West Country that there are at least five people competing for every rental home.

The average cost of renting a 3-bed house in the centre is now £1,400 a month, which is almost double the cost in Gloucester - and with demand often outstripping supply many people are unable to find a place to live.

Are you struggling to find an affordable rent in the city? Has Bristol become too expensive to live in? Write to westcountry@itv.com with your story.

In April campaigners protested against lettings agent CJ Hole, after the Southville branch wrote to Bristol landlords encouraging them to raise rents.

The branch has since had its windows smashed in in what appears to be a vandal attack.

Controversial Bristol lettings agent has windows smashed

Police are investigating after an estate agent criticised for encouraging Bristol landlords to increase rents had its windows smashed in.

Campaigners protested outside the Southville branch of CJ Hole in April after it wrote to landlords with the suggestion, and more than 12,000 people signed a petition calling on the firm to stop "exploiting Bristol's housing crisis" and sign an 'Ethical Lettings Charter'.

The vandal attack against the branch is believed to have happened on Tuesday night.

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Hope for Falmouth war veteran denied housing

A war veteran from Falmouth and his family, who were denied social housing, are having their case reviewed - following pressure from forces charities.

Father-of-four Jamie Streets had to leave the army and couldn't work due to a brain tumour. His family were turned down as they were classed as having made themselves homeless.

Kathy Wardle has been to meet them.

We asked the Prime Minister what the government is doing to help Mr Streets. Here is his response:

Prime Minister backs war veteran's case

The Streets family are living in temporary accommodation while their case is reviewed Credit: ITV News

A war veteran from Falmouth and his family, who were denied social housing, are having their case reviewed - following pressure from forces charities.

Father-of-four Jamie Streets had to leave the army and couldn't work due to a brain tumour. His family were turned down as they were classed as having made themselves homeless.

We asked the Prime Minister to comment and this is what he had to say:

The local MP Sarah Newton has quite rightly stepped in and has raised this case with the local Cornwall Council and they are now thinking again about whether they can provide a long term housing solution for Mr Streets and his family which I'm sure is the right thing to do.

So let's hope that the local council has a good look at this and think about how to make some special arrangements in this vital case.

– David Cameron, Prime Minister

Hope for war veteran in housing crisis

Jamie and Charmaine are currently living in temporary housing provided Cornwall Council Credit: ITV News

A former soldier who served in Afghanistan and Kosovo has appealed to Cornwall Council after his family were denied social housing.

Jamie Streets, his wife Charmaine and their four children had to leave their private rented accommodation as they could no longer afford the rent.When they applied for a council house they were declined as they were classed as having made themselves voluntarily homeless.

Mr Streets was injured in a fall from a horse whilst serving in the Household Cavalry, and was subsequently diagnosed with a brain tumour. He is still recovering from the illness and has been unable to work.

The family is currently living in a temporary house provided by Cornwall Council, but received a letter giving them 28 days to find an alternative.

Cornwall Housing applies Cornwall Council’s housing allocations policy which fully takes into account the homelessness legislation and provisions relating to Armed Forces Veterans which have been introduced by the Government in relation to housing.

To be fair to all others who apply to the Council for housing as a result of becoming homeless, we have to apply strict criteria as set out in housing legislation to make a judgement on whether or not we have a duty to house them and judge each case accordingly.

– Statement from Cornwall Council

Mr Streets' case has since attracted support from the public across social media.

Following a meeting with Cornwall Council the authority has agreed to review the case. The family hope to find out if they will be rehoused within the next week.

Landlords asked to work with council over housing

Landlords are being asked to work with the council to tackle housing need Credit: ITV News

Private landlords are being asked to work with Bristol City Council to tackle the need for housing in the city.

A forum will be held tonight to encourage property owners to work with housing agencies to provide secure accommodation for people in need of a home.

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