A report by Legal & General has illustrated the gulf between Oxford’s thriving economy and its shortage of affordable and social housing.
The latest Legal & General Rebuilding Britain Index (RBI) gives a score out of 100 for major UK towns and cities, based on surveying 20,000 people and tracking social and economic progress across 52 measures. These include health and social care, education, housing, jobs & economic prosperity, environment, energy, transport and digital.
Both Oxford (73) and South Oxfordshire (78) compare favourably against the regional average of 67 and UK average of 60 on the key measure of jobs and economic prosperity.
The findings reflect some of the highest GDP per capita, average earnings and employment rate scores in the UK.
However, the report reveals both authorities had some of the lowest housing index scores across the whole of the UK. Oxford scored 45, and South Oxfordshire 43, against a regional average of 51 and national average of 58.
Nigel Wilson, chief executive of Legal & General, said: “Oxford has a long-held reputation as a centre of excellence for education, health and innovation. Unfortunately, Oxford – and the wider Oxfordshire area – is also renowned for high house prices.
“Our research makes very clear the scale of the challenge facing Oxford and Oxfordshire on the housing issue.
“If we wish to maintain Oxford’s place at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution, then it is vital that the talent being attracted to the area can afford to make it their home.
“At the same time, it is vital that those that have made the area their home for generations are not priced out. This means affordable starter homes, rental properties and social housing in targeted locations.
“We have already committed £4 billion in association with Oxford University to develop affordable homes for staff and students, while creating more of the science and innovation districts for which Oxford is famous.
“Oxford needs far more of this targeted investment if it is to address the housing challenge our data so clearly highlights.”
The report can be seen at https://group.legalandgeneral.com/media/su5ilyy0/rebuilding-britain-index-wave-3.pdf
Image: Chensiyuan, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
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