Number of social rent homes built 'has fallen by almost four fifths in a decade;

A reports on the government's latest figures for the number of affordable homes built in 2017/18 features in today's newspaper round-up.

The Guardian reports on the latest affordable housing figures published yesterday by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). The figures show that the "number of new homes built for social rent has fallen by almost four fifths in a decade", the newspaper says, "as more than 1 million families are stuck on waiting lists for council housing in England". The MHCLG figures show 6,463 homes were built in England for social rent in 2017-18, down from almost 30,000 a decade ago. But the article adds that the "overall number of properties constructed in England classified as affordable rose by 12% last year to 47,355". It says the bulk of these affordable homes "were built for so-called 'affordable rent', where rental costs are capped at 80% of local private sector rents". The newspaper quotes John Healey, the shadow housing secretary, who said: "These figures confirm the disastrous fall in the number of new affordable homes for social rent under the Conservatives."

The BBC website features news of plans for a new 60m pedestrian bridge over the M8 in Glasgow, which has been dubbed the "street in the sky". According to the article a planning application is about to be submitted for the structure in the Sighthill part of the city, replacing an existing bridge that the council says is "not fit for purpose". Glasgow City Council says it hopes the bridge, whose width varies between 20m and 7.5m, "will breath new life into the area" by connecting it to the city centre and forms part of a £250 million project to regenerate Sighthill. The BBC says construction should start in mid-2019, with completion in summer 2020. There are also plans to build civic spaces either side of the motorway, it adds.

According to The Times, building society Nationwide claims that Brexit has left "homeowners too worried to move". It states: "Despite a robust economy and incomes rising above inflation, uncertainty is having a 'dampening effect', Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, said".

The Times also reports on a study which has found that the "introduction of 20mph zones across Britain has had no effect on the number of accidents in inner cities". The study, commissioned by the Department for Transport more than four years ago, found little evidence that 20mph limits had a significant bearing on safety, according to the newspaper. It says that some councils "spent up to £1.7 million on making the change but only half of drivers stuck to the lower limit". Meanwhile, average speeds on affected roads "dropped by less than 1mph after the lower limit was introduced".  It adds that there was a "small but significant" increase in people cycling and walking, "with five per cent of people travelling by foot more than they did when roads had higher limits".


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