The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) released the affordable housing supply live tables in November 2016.
This release presents statistics on additional affordable housing supply in England. The estimates include new build and affordable housing providers’ acquisitions of private housing. Losses through demolitions, sales to tenants and other sales are excluded so the statistics are the ‘gross’ additions to the stock. Affordable homes are defined as additional housing units (or bed spaces) provided to specified eligible households whose needs are not met by the market.
Fewer affordable homes were built in the past year than any time in the past 24 years, while there was a 52% fall in the supply of new homes in just 12 months.
Builders put the finishing touches to 32,110 affordable homes in England in the year to the end of March 2016, compared with 66,600 over the previous year, according to figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
Of those, just 6,550 – about 20% – were for social rent, which critics say is the only truly affordable housing tenure, with the rest made available to rent or buy at “affordable” rates of up to 80% of market value.
Critics said the figures were disastrous, and called on the government to do more to encourage housebuilding. They come as the proportion of households that own a property is at a 30-year low and rising house prices have driven the cost of buying a home to more than 10 times the average salary in a third of England and Wales.
The DCLG commented stating “Delivery is normally lower in the first year of any new housing programme and so these figures are expected as part of a five-year housebuilding cycle. Building more homes is an absolute priority for this government.”