Only 24 hours after the Tories unveiled their housing strategy, their credibility on the subject has taken a hit. Homes and Communities Agency Statistics show that “starts” of Homes for Social Rent have fallen by over 99% in the last 6 months from 26,330 to 259. Similarly, “Total Affordable Housing Starts” have fallen by 99% over the last 6 months from 35,735 to 454.
Jack Dromey MP, Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister, has responded to the statistics, saying:
“These figures show the disastrous impact of this Government’s 60% cut of £4bn to Labour’s Affordable Homes Programme. Housing starts fell 99% for homes at Social Rent from 26,300 to 259 and total Affordable Homes also fell 99% from 35,735 to just 454.”
“Only one day on from the launch of the Government’s Housing Strategy, this out of touch Government’s credibility has been shattered. Grant Shapps likes to claim that last year his Government built more affordable homes for rent than any time since 1995-6 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.”
While it’s usual for there to be a drop in housing starts in April-September compared to October-March, the drop this time around is especially severe – only 454 affordable homes started (compared to nearly 14,000 over the same period last year) is bad by anyone’s standards…