A LEADING housing charity is calling for more building in Dudley to tackle a shortage which has hit crisis point.

Research based on government statistics shows wage increases have been slowing down since 1997 when compared to house price rises, leaving a gap of £14,600 in the borough, which Shelter says could put buying a house beyond many people.

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: “Politicians need to start meeting people halfway by committing to bold solutions that will get more affordable homes built.

Otherwise future generations will find themselves priced out of a stable home, however hard they work or save.

“Successive governments have failed to build the affordable homes that this country needs, and as a result our housing shortage has reached crisis point.”

The region’s politicians have responded by blaming each other for a lack of housing.

Tory Dudley South Tory MP Chris Kelly said under the last Labour government waiting lists for social housing almost doubled while stocks of suitable rental properties fell.

Mr Kelly added: “I know that there will be many hardworking families here in Dudley and the Black Country who aspire to own their own home, but are struggling to get on the housing ladder.

“This is why the Government has taken action to help increase the supply of new housing, while also helping people with schemes like Help to Buy.”

Labour says the Help to Buy scheme pushes up demand and prices without increasing supply.

Ian Austin, Labour MP for Dudley North, said: “We all want to own our own home, but these figures show how high house prices have become, and how difficult it is for hard-working families in the Black Country to achieve their dream.

“The government needs to step in and commit to building more houses and I want as many as possible of those to replace derelict land in Dudley.”

Shelter argues in the late nineties the average house cost five times the average salary, but by 2012 this difference had doubled to ten times the average salary, which leaves thousands of people with no choice but to live in unstable private rented homes, or to continue living with their parents well into adulthood.