Fewer Homes For Social Rent Now Being Built

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Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E. info@burflex.co.uk

Fewer Homes For Social Rent Now Being Built

Fewer Homes For Social Rent Now Being Built

Newly released figures from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government show that the number of new properties being built for social rent has dropped by nearly four-fifths in ten years… with 6,463 houses built in England for social rent between 2017 and 2018, down from nearly 30,000 a decade ago.

In the face of this decline in the number of such homes being built, there are over one million families currently on waiting lists for council housing across England, the Guardian reports.

Interestingly, despite this drop, the overall number of houses built in England classified by government as being affordable went up 12 per cent last year. The bulk of these were constructed for ‘affordable rent’ where costs are capped at 80 per cent of local private sector rents.

Social rent housing, meanwhile, also takes into account local incomes as well as house prices and campaigners have now said that the term affordable rent is misleading since many of these homes are still unaffordable to lots of people.

In England, around 1.25 million families were on the waiting list for social housing between 2016 and 2017, with around two-thirds on the list for over 12 months. On average, local authorities in England have more than 3,500 families on their waiting lists.

Discussing the lack of new social housing, Labour noted that under the current rate of construction, it would take a minimum of 170 years to house all those on the waiting list. Shadow housing secretary John Healey said: “These figures confirm the disastrous fall in the number of new affordable homes for social rent under the Conservatives.”

And chief executive of charity Shelter Polly Neate made further comments, saying that the gap between the number of social homes the country needs and what is being built “just isn’t acceptable when nearly 280,000 people are homeless in England today”.

It’s not just more social homes that need to be built, however… a new housing supply report from the Ministry of Housing revealed that annual supply saw a hike of 222,190 properties between 2017-2018. This is a rise of two per cent on the previous 12 months, but down on the year before which saw a 15 per cent increase.

What this means is that the government is lagging behind on its housebuilding targets and while there may well have been 222,190 additional properties built last year there were just 195,290 new homes built… more than 100,000 less than the targets set out.

That said, the number of net additional dwellings has risen by 78 per cent in the last five years, as the government tries to provide affordable homes for those who are keen to take that first step onto the property ladder.

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