HEREFORDSHIRE'S housing crisis is deepening.

Figures show an increase in the number of homeless people, combined with rocketing property prices that are excluding large numbers of people from the market.

Statistics show that last year, there were more than 7,700 families on the waiting list in Herefordshire.

This was an increase of 36% on the previous year and things are set to get worse, according to the National Housing Federation, which represents more than 1,400 independent housing associations.

According to the group, only a small proportion of homes being built are social housing available for people unable to buy on the open market.

"The benefits of any new homes that are being built are more than negated by losses through right to buy and other sales schemes," said Gina King, of the National Housing Federation.

"Since the introduction of Right to Buy, the West Midlands has lost in excess of 200,000 homes and this lack of sufficient housing supply is in turn helping to put house prices up even further beyond people's reach."

Statistics show the average cost of a house in the West Midlands is £240,000 and in Herefordshire, the typical cost of a home in 10 times average incomes.