Thomas Bridge 22 May 2015

‘Bold’ action demanded after councils build just 1,200 homes in 12 months

Just 125,000 new homes were built in England last year, falling almost a quarter of a million properties short of targets –figures have revealed.

Figures released from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) reveal just 125,110 homes were built in England between April 2014 and March 2015, with a fifth built by housing associations and just 1,230 delivered by local authorities.

The number of homes finished fell almost a quarter of a million short of the 245,000 widely acknowledged to be necessary every year to keep up with demand.

The National Housing Federation (NHF) today warned ‘not nearly enough homes’ had been built for over a generation, pricing many people out of owning or renting.

However the Government highlighted that the number of homes completed over this period was 11% higher than in the previous year and the highest annual total since 2009.

Figures show construction was started on 140,500 homes in the 12 months leading up to March, 5% higher than in the previous year. Over 40,000 homes were started between January and March this year, double the number seen over the same period in 2009.

Newly re-appointed housing minister, Brandon Lewis, said government efforts to ‘get the country building again’ were ‘reaping results’.

Henry Gregg, assistant director of campaigns and communication at the NHF, said: ‘We have a far reaching housing crisis and at its heart is the reality that not nearly enough homes have been built for a generation or more.

‘We need urgent action to get more housing of all types built. Families and young people across the country are crying out for genuinely affordable homes they can rent long term and shared ownership homes to help them on the housing ladder.

‘Housing associations are building, but they need a bold government to play its part too and lead the way for new homes. Our new Government has committed to end the housing crisis within a generation, now it must free up land and provide proper investment to make that happen.’

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