Round-Up: Housing Crisis, Falling Infections, And A Website Refresh
May 6th 2022
Housing crisisOn local social media, there are more posts than usual from people looking for rented accommodation. Normally it's fairly rare to see these amongst posts about lost pets, bad parking, and local events.
However, the availability of both privately rented homes and homes for social rent is extremely low, pushing people to try different methods to find what they're looking for. In private rentals in Louth, typical current prices per month can range from £450-£600 for a 2- bedroomed flat, to £795-£975 for a 3-bedroomed house. This is high for Louth, where wages are generally lower than average for the country.
Meanwhile on the social housing register, there are at least 2800 families in East Lindsey looking for accommodation, a figure that has risen recently because so few properties are available.
Falling infectionsThere's some tentatively good news from the ZOE Symptom Study, where there were 4612 estimated cases of active Covid in East Lindsey today, versus a peak of over 13,000 in April. These are still incredibly high numbers, and they point to a very high burden of ill health both in the short term, and potentially through Long Covid. There's no reason to let down our guard.
Linked to the infection rate is the large number of employers locally who are looking to recruit people. This is visible in various shops and other places around town where there are vacancy posters. This doesn't seem to be purely about people temporarily off sick with Covid infections, either. This video posted on 5th May by the Institute of Employment Studies goes into detail about what has been happening to the UK workforce over the past couple of years. There is a crisis of recruitment due to a rise in economic activity - that's not people who are unemployed, but people who aren't working and aren't looking for work. This is due to things like being long-term sick, temporarily sick, retired early, students, and those looking after their family. There has been a big, worrying rise in those who aren't working due to ill health.
Website refreshI have been working on refreshing this website, mainly to change the design to make it more mobile-friendly, so that it looks better on different screen sizes.
When it comes to the technologies behind websites, a lot has changed since I first put this site online in 2004. Frontend Focus, run by local newsletter providers Cooper Press based on Fairfield Industrial Estate in Louth, is one of the sources that has been useful to me in keeping up with the changes. If web development interests you, you can sign up to that or one of their other technology newsletters here: https://cooperpress.com/publications/.