The number of new social homes being built has fallen to the lowest level since the Second World War, new figures have revealed.
The statistics show that only 5,380 social rented homes were built last year, the lowest number in 71 years.
Housing charity Shelter also said the figures show that nearly two-third of local authorities built no affordable housing last year.
Polly Neate, chief executive at Shelter, said: ‘The government has a real opportunity to set things right in the upcoming Budget, it can start by reducing the mammoth cost of land and closing loopholes which are draining the country of the affordable homes families are crying out for.
‘It’s unacceptable that we’re building the lowest number of social homes since the Second World War, just as homelessness reaches 250,000 in England.’
However, the figures also show that the number of affordable homes being built rose by 27% in the past year to 41,530.
Head of policy at the Chartered Institute of Housing, Melanie Rees, said: 'It’s encouraging to see a 27% increase in the number of affordable homes delivered in 2016/17. However, very few of them were for social rent, which is significantly cheaper than market rent and the only truly affordable option for many people on lower incomes.'