William Eichler 19 November 2021

Charity criticises 12% decrease in construction of social homes

Charity criticises 12% decrease in construction of social homes   image

A homelessness charity has blasted the Government after it was revealed that only one social home was built for every 195 households stuck on housing waiting lists during the pandemic.

As well as a shortage of social homes, new Government statistics on affordable housing supply in England released yesterday show that between March 2020 and April 2021 5,955 new social rent homes were delivered last year.

This represents a 12% decrease on the previous year and a decrease of 85% from 10 years ago.

The statistics also show that only 11% of ‘affordable homes’ built last year were genuinely affordable social rent homes.

In 150 Local Authorities (45%) no social homes were built at all last year and Government grants paid for 1,492 of the 5,955 social homes built – just 3% of the total 52,100 ‘affordable’ homes delivered.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, described the findings as ‘beyond belief’.

'The fact only 11% of “affordable homes” built last year were genuinely affordable social homes is beyond belief – especially when thousands of renters are edging closer towards homelessness,’ she said.

‘Building a few thousand social homes a year given over a million households are stuck on social housing waiting lists, just doesn’t cut it.

‘Every day our helpline picks up the phone to families desperate for the security of a social home. With soaring living costs and pandemic protections withdrawn, hard-up families are more worried than ever about how they’ll keep a roof over their heads, and food on the table.

‘This is exactly the time for the government to start putting its money into the right place, by building the only type of housing that’s actually affordable by design. Investing in sustainable social homes will give us the best odds of levelling up the country.’

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