'I'm an Edinburgh dad and I worry that my family will never have a home to call our own'

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Finding a forever home is an increasingly tall order for young families - and Martin Dick's is no exception.

An Edinburgh dad who has spent years renting in the Capital fears his young family will never have a place to call their own.

Martin Dick, 34, lives in a private let in Slateford with partner Kez, 36, and their three-year-old daugher Jade. He worked full-time at Tesco for several years but has now gone part-time in order to retrain as an accountant.

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Although the couple have been together for 11 years, getting on the property ladder has always eluded them. Martin told the Evening News 'moving goalposts' had made it nigh-on impossible for them to save for a deposit.

Martin would love to find a place for his young family to call their ownMartin would love to find a place for his young family to call their own
Martin would love to find a place for his young family to call their own

He said: "With the average house price being roughly around £360,000, I would need to get a deposit of between around £12,000 and £20,000 to buy one. That's why we've been stuck renting for years.

"Working for Tesco for a decade, I've seen prices shoot up in real time. Food pricing, right now, has increased hugely. Thinking about pasta, which used to be 40p for a packet of penne, now it's almost two quid.

"With things being as expensive as they are, that eats into your savings - especially when wages don't increase to the same rate as inflation. You're able to save a little bit, but not enough to be able to get thousands and thousands of pounds within a set of time.

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"I've always found that there's a misconception with people saying 'skip out on the morning coffees or the avocado toast'. That's unrealistic to say the least.

"It's really stressful and frustrating to know that unless I somehow manage to get an inheritance - and the chances of that are slim to nil - aside from that, I will never own my own home in my lifetime. That's a depressing thought."

Today, the Evening News and our National World colleagues are launching Project Peter Pan - a campaign which aims to give a voice to those in their 20s and 30s struggling with soaring house prices and living costs. Ahead of this year's general election, we are calling on politicians to listen to those generations in the face of off-the-mark 'laziness' allegations so often thrown their way.

Edinburgh declared a housing emergency last November, with around 5,000 households living in temporary accommodation and social housing demand far outweighing supply. But the crisis has also affected people's ability to buy homes, with the city's ownership rate below the city average.

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Martin's family, who are currently letting a one-bedroom flat with a box room, have at times been forced to wait several weeks for home repairs. Despite their best efforts, they have still not been able to find a bigger property - let alone a forever home.

The soaring cost of living has left the young couple unable to save for a depositThe soaring cost of living has left the young couple unable to save for a deposit
The soaring cost of living has left the young couple unable to save for a deposit

Martin added: "We really need to get a two-bedroom place. We used the box room for storage but we had to clear that out so that Jade could have a bedroom.

"Even if you call the place home, it's never truly your own home because you always know that every month you've got to give a percentage of your income to this faceless person that you know nothing about. It's absurd when you lay it out like that."

Martin believes the issue is a generational one, with younger families finding it more difficult to buy amid soaring prices and scarce supply in high-demand areas like the Capital.

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He continued: "Let's just say that the older generation in my family, at least, all own their own homes. My mum owns her home, so do my uncle and auntie.

Project Peter PanProject Peter Pan
Project Peter Pan

"My generation have been given the short straw. Houses are being treated as a commodity rather than a basic human right. Shelter is something that's necessary for anyone but it's not seen as such. I would imagine a lot of people in mine and my partners' shoes will be thinking the same thing.

"The majority of people who I've known for a long time don't own their own homes. One friend has a kid and he's renting a place on the outskirts of town. Others are still living with their parents in their 30s. The oldest friend I have is in his 50s and he still doesn't have his own place."

While Martin reckons more social housing could improve the situation, he worries there is not enough will from leaders to make a dent in the problems which have been brewing for years. He also thinks an over-concentration of student accommodation in the city has further distorted an already exorbitant market.

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He has considered moving out of Edinburgh for the chance of finding a more affordable place but ultimately believes the costs would outweigh the benefits.

He added: "The thought has crossed my mind just to find somewhere cheaper, even if it is to pay less rent. The main issue would be having to commute into the city to work.

"Any gain I'd get from moving somewhere with a lower rent would just go into the commute. I don't think it'd be very viable, especially with rail fares as high as they are."

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