EALING Central and Acton MP Angie Bray is questioning a report from Shelter which labelled Ealing a ‘housing blackspot’.

The charity said more than 80% of homes nationally were unaffordable to first-time buyers and that there were none in Ealing.

The research suggests it would be impossible for an average working family to afford to buy a first home in the area.

The MP retorted: “It depends what is meant by the term affordable.

“It is actually very unhelpful if people set out to use figures to distort the housing picture.

“Shelter is looking at homes available to buy by first-time buyers on an average wage. I am not sure how they do the figures but no-one doubts that getting on the ladder is expensive.

“Inevitably, it is only a snapshot of the market at a particular time as properties come and go.”

She was responding to comments from Labour rival Dr Rupa Huq, which labelled the situation a disaster for families and young people looking to get onto the property ladder.

Dr Huq said: “It’s clear from Shelter’s findings that Londoners are facing the biggest housing crisis in a generation. This is particularly acute in Ealing, where only Labour is working to sort this out.”

Dr Huq spoke of Labour-run Ealing Council’s plans to build 500 affordable homes in the borough over the next four years.

She believes a Labour government will supplement this by building 200,000 new homes across the country every year.

She said: “I’ve seen first-hand how prices and rents are spiralling out of control down my road and in local neighbourhoods.

“The Government must act now so that councils can build the homes our families so desperately need. A secure and affordable home is the least they deserve.”

Ms Bray said the present government’s Help to Buy Scheme had helped 35,000 people buy their own homes.

The MP also pointed out that affordable housing often describes council, housing association and key worker housing which falls under the rental market. She said there were 23,270 of these in Ealing, approx 18% of the housing stock.

The chief executive of Shelter, the charity behind the research, Campbell Robb said: “It's clear we’re not just facing a housing shortage any more. It’s a full-blown drought.”