Official figures that came out this week on social housing being built in England show a dramatic drop. Between October and April the number of building ‘starts’ for social rent, low cost or affordable housing was 39,136, but the figure for April to September had dropped to 1,746.
In the north east of the country the number has dropped from 2,963 to 12 , and in the north west of the country the number had dropped from 3,766 to none.
This is a direct result of the budget cuts for housing associations. Jack Dromey, the shadow cabinet’s housing minister, said “Grant Shapps (the housing minister) likes to claim that last year his government built more affordable homes for rent than any time since 1995-96, but the facts show that the 60,000 new affordable homes built last year were planned for, financed and started by the last Labour government,”
This news comes in the same week as the government’s new ‘housing strategy’ was published. Grant Shapps has defended the figures and stated that under the new programme there were many more houses planned and the next six months figures would reflect this.