Figures show rise in affordable housing delivery but social housing slump continues

The provision of affordable housing in England increased during 2016/17, but was still at a lower level than the seven years prior to 2014, according to latest figures.

The Department for Communities and Local Government's offices in central London
The Department for Communities and Local Government's offices in central London

The Department for Communities and Local Government's (DCLG) latest Statistical Release on Affordable Housing Supply, published today, says that an additional 41,530 affordable homes were delivered in England in 2016/17.

This was 27 per cent higher than the previous year’s figure of 32,630, but was lower than the figure of 66,700 delivered in 2014/15, or any of the previous years dating back to 2008/09.

The DCLG said the increase in the latest figures was partly due to the increase in schemes generated from section 106 agreements and delivered as a result of an increase in levels of private house building.

The statistical release says that, of the affordable homes delivered in 2016/17, 5,380 were for social rent, 24,350 were affordable rent and 11,810 were intermediate affordable housing.

The level of social rent homes delivered was lower than any of the previous eight years.

The DCLG said that supply of affordable housing "generally peaks towards the end of each affordable housing programme."

"For example, supply peaked at 66,000 in 2014/15, which was the last year of the 2011 to 2015 programme," it said. "As part of a house building cycle, delivery is normally lower in the first years of any new housing programme."

Responding to the figures, Chartered Institute of Housing head of policy Melanie Rees said it was "encouraging" to see the 27 per cent increase for the 2016/17 figures.

"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," she said.

"We desperately need more genuinely affordable homes to tackle our national housing crisis and address rising levels of homelessness," Rees said.


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