Affordable homes started in North West hit rock bottom
Published by Julien Tremblin for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Local Government
No affordable homes started in North West in six months
Zero affordable homes were started on site in the North West in the six months to October 2011, figures by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) reveal.
Statistics issued by the HCA on Tuesday show that no affordable homes were started in the region in the period from 1 April 2011 to 30 September, compared to 3,766 in the previous year.
Figures for the rest of the country were not much higher as only 454 affordable homes were started on site across England in the six months to October.
This represents a 97 per cent drop compared to the previous six months and a 99 per cent fall compared to the same period last year.
The South and South West as well as the North East have both seen 22 affordable homes started on site in the six months to October. A total of 56 homes have been started in London and 317 in the Midlands during that period.
Deborah McLaughlin, HCA’s executive director for the North West, said: “The recently announced figures for starts of new affordable homes need to be put in context. Last year, in the North West, we completed all new starts of the National Affordable Housing Programme, leaving no delayed schemes to count statistically for this financial year.
"We have worked closely with our Registered Provider and Local Authority partners to build the new Affordable Homes Programme to start delivering this year. We have had a great response to this and are now set to provide over 9,300 new homes across the North West over the next four years.
“So far, we have agreed 15 contracts collectively worth £122m to deliver 6,224 new homes in the North West by 2015. These contracts include deals agreed with key providers such as Great Places Housing Association (£35m), Symphony Housing Group (£12.1m) and Adactus (£10m).
“This investment will have a positive impact on housing delivery over the coming months and the second half of this financial year will see the number of housing starts increase significantly.”
The HCA has also announced that Social housing consortium JV North is spending £104.3 million to build more than 900 new affordable homes in the North West over the next four years. It benefits from £ 20 million funding from the HCA.
The Government has pledged £1.8 billion towards its Affordable Homes programme, which it hopes will deliver 80,000 affordable homes by 2015. More than £1 billion worth of contracts have already been signed between the HCA and housing providers in recent weeks.
The Government has also published its housing strategy on Monday, promising a £400 million 'Get Britain Building' fund. It will target house building schemes that have stalled through a lack of development finance comprising around 3,200 affordable homes.
Shadow Housing Minister Jack Dromey yesterday blamed the Coalition Government policies over the “disastrous fall” in home starts.