Sharp drop in building of affordable homes, figures reveal

HOUSEBUILDING has collapsed in most of the region, The Northern Echo can reveal – despite Government claims of a “success story”.

The Northern Echo:

The number of ‘affordable homes’ being built has fallen in 13 of 17 areas since the Coalition came to power, after housing programmes were axed.

And it has plunged sharply in many areas, including in Hartlepool (down 62.5 per cent), Middlesbrough (down 59.1 per cent) and Stockton-on-Tees (down 54.5 per cent).

The lack of new homes is even more acute in North Yorkshire, in Hambleton (down 76.9 per cent), Ryedale (down 66.7 per cent) and York (down 85.2 per cent).

In Richmondshire, not a single affordable home – those available at lower rents, or for shared ownership – was completed in 2013-14.

Yet, in 2010-11, the year the Coalition came to power, 60 were built, the official figures show.

Only South Tyneside, where 1,050 affordable homes were completed last year, bucked the trend, cutting the decline across the region to 15.3 per cent.

Last week, the department for communities and local government (DCLG) claimed its record on affordable housing since 2010 was a “clear success story”.

It said that nearly 200,000 such homes had been built, including 2,380 in the North-East and North Yorkshire.

But ministers totted up four years’ of figures to reach that tally – and the statistics for previous years reveal a different story.

Rachel Fisher, head of policy at the National Housing Federation, said: “It is nowhere near enough.

“Demand is still far exceeding supply. England needs around 240,000 new homes a year. We need to build more of the right homes, in the right place, at the right price.”

Emma Reynolds, for Labour, said: “We have repeatedly called for action on housing supply, particularly on the need for more affordable homes, but this government has failed to act.

“Under David Cameron, the number of homes built has fallen to the lowest level in peacetime since the 1920s.”

The chronic shortage of housing is an issue rising up the political agenda, with hundreds of thousands of families languishing on council waiting lists.

Meanwhile, town halls remain barred from borrowing money to build homes, as the Government relies on the private sector to step in.

But Kris Hopkins, the housing minister said: “Our affordable house-building efforts are a clear success story, with nearly 200,000 new affordable homes delivered since April 2010.

“It means families have new homes available to them, whether to rent at an affordable rate or to buy through our shared ownership schemes.”

Across England, 41,654 affordable homes were built last year – well down on the 53,172 in the year before the last general election

Comments (8)

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6:50am Fri 20 Jun 14

quakerste says...

There isn't a chronic shortage of housing in this area there are thousands of good houses stood empty because people would rather spend over 100,000 on a new build they can't afford.

People need to be far more realistic in their expectations and buy a house what they can afford. Young first time buyers can purchase a decent house for between 50-80,000, it may not be in the area of their choice but at least they have a foot on the housing ladder.
There isn't a chronic shortage of housing in this area there are thousands of good houses stood empty because people would rather spend over 100,000 on a new build they can't afford. People need to be far more realistic in their expectations and buy a house what they can afford. Young first time buyers can purchase a decent house for between 50-80,000, it may not be in the area of their choice but at least they have a foot on the housing ladder. quakerste
  • Score: 2

7:15am Fri 20 Jun 14

laboursfoe says...

The problem rests with the councils not forcing developers to set aside a proportion of the site as 'Affordable'.

The other time bomb is not enough housing that is suitable for the ageing population. There are simply not enough single story homes being built that allow people to live independently into old age.
The problem rests with the councils not forcing developers to set aside a proportion of the site as 'Affordable'. The other time bomb is not enough housing that is suitable for the ageing population. There are simply not enough single story homes being built that allow people to live independently into old age. laboursfoe
  • Score: 9

9:56am Fri 20 Jun 14

Copley23 says...

laboursfoe wrote:
The problem rests with the councils not forcing developers to set aside a proportion of the site as 'Affordable'.

The other time bomb is not enough housing that is suitable for the ageing population. There are simply not enough single story homes being built that allow people to live independently into old age.
Sorry but you are wrong. Section 106 agreement ensures that ALL councils force developers to set aside a proportion of their houses for 'affordables'. They actually have no choice.

The problem here folks is that the dev's simply sit on the land once allocation/planning agreement has been reached....hoping for a better price a few years down the line.

And to follow on from what quakerste said, there simply is not a shortage.
The figures that are thrown at us constantly....anyone know what they are based on? No. Because they cannot provide this information. Research has shown that their figures simply don't stack up.

And the reason Richmond has had no new ones.....very rural area, no jobs...youngsters leaving for more exciting lives elsewhere - and a growing elderly population......one size does not fit all councils. They insist on throwing urban figures and rural councils.

The whole subject as far as the government is concerned is bunkum and a sham.
[quote][p][bold]laboursfoe[/bold] wrote: The problem rests with the councils not forcing developers to set aside a proportion of the site as 'Affordable'. The other time bomb is not enough housing that is suitable for the ageing population. There are simply not enough single story homes being built that allow people to live independently into old age.[/p][/quote]Sorry but you are wrong. Section 106 agreement ensures that ALL councils force developers to set aside a proportion of their houses for 'affordables'. They actually have no choice. The problem here folks is that the dev's simply sit on the land once allocation/planning agreement has been reached....hoping for a better price a few years down the line. And to follow on from what quakerste said, there simply is not a shortage. The figures that are thrown at us constantly....anyone know what they are based on? No. Because they cannot provide this information. Research has shown that their figures simply don't stack up. And the reason Richmond has had no new ones.....very rural area, no jobs...youngsters leaving for more exciting lives elsewhere - and a growing elderly population......one size does not fit all councils. They insist on throwing urban figures and rural councils. The whole subject as far as the government is concerned is bunkum and a sham. Copley23
  • Score: 1

10:51am Fri 20 Jun 14

Browser2 says...

Copley23 You are correct in so far as Section 106 agreements are meant to ensure that developers provide a % of affordable houses on developments.

Unfortunately, most Authorities will vary the agreement and accept cash in lieu which sits in the Council Coffers proping up finances.Over the last 5 years our Authority has collected a total of £537,534 and has only spent £2534 0n town centre improvements and £480,000 collected for Affordable Housing not spent based on Freedom of Information request
covering years 2008/9 to 2012/13.
The balance of £55,000 was for Offsite Play Area contribution and also remained unspent.
Copley23 You are correct in so far as Section 106 agreements are meant to ensure that developers provide a % of affordable houses on developments. Unfortunately, most Authorities will vary the agreement and accept cash in lieu which sits in the Council Coffers proping up finances.Over the last 5 years our Authority has collected a total of £537,534 and has only spent £2534 0n town centre improvements and £480,000 collected for Affordable Housing not spent based on Freedom of Information request covering years 2008/9 to 2012/13. The balance of £55,000 was for Offsite Play Area contribution and also remained unspent. Browser2
  • Score: 2

11:00am Fri 20 Jun 14

Copley23 says...

Browser2 wrote:
Copley23 You are correct in so far as Section 106 agreements are meant to ensure that developers provide a % of affordable houses on developments.

Unfortunately, most Authorities will vary the agreement and accept cash in lieu which sits in the Council Coffers proping up finances.Over the last 5 years our Authority has collected a total of £537,534 and has only spent £2534 0n town centre improvements and £480,000 collected for Affordable Housing not spent based on Freedom of Information request
covering years 2008/9 to 2012/13.
The balance of £55,000 was for Offsite Play Area contribution and also remained unspent.
Thanks Browser.....good info!
[quote][p][bold]Browser2[/bold] wrote: Copley23 You are correct in so far as Section 106 agreements are meant to ensure that developers provide a % of affordable houses on developments. Unfortunately, most Authorities will vary the agreement and accept cash in lieu which sits in the Council Coffers proping up finances.Over the last 5 years our Authority has collected a total of £537,534 and has only spent £2534 0n town centre improvements and £480,000 collected for Affordable Housing not spent based on Freedom of Information request covering years 2008/9 to 2012/13. The balance of £55,000 was for Offsite Play Area contribution and also remained unspent.[/p][/quote]Thanks Browser.....good info! Copley23
  • Score: 0

11:20am Fri 20 Jun 14

Butterknowle Boy says...

Browser2 is correct Copley23.
There was an application to build 12 houses in Butterknowle, The application had many issues and received numerous objections, however DCC approved the plans stating that the provision of 4No affordable houses outweighed the negative impact.

Once approved the applicant then submitted an amendment to the plans to remove the 4No affordable houses as they claimed there had been no interest from social landloards, so there wasn't a need in the area

DCC agreed with the applicant and the affordable houses were removed - The ONLY reason application was granted in the first place.

The applicant dose however need to contribute £12k towards local recreational spaces - but where this goes and how it is spent is anyones guess.
Browser2 is correct Copley23. There was an application to build 12 houses in Butterknowle, The application had many issues and received numerous objections, however DCC approved the plans stating that the provision of 4No affordable houses outweighed the negative impact. Once approved the applicant then submitted an amendment to the plans to remove the 4No affordable houses as they claimed there had been no interest from social landloards, so there wasn't a need in the area DCC agreed with the applicant and the affordable houses were removed - The ONLY reason application was granted in the first place. The applicant dose however need to contribute £12k towards local recreational spaces - but where this goes and how it is spent is anyones guess. Butterknowle Boy
  • Score: 0

2:07pm Fri 20 Jun 14

Mod says...

I think it's all about supply and demand. If there is no demand for affordable houses and Housing Associations are not prepared to take them on, then there will be an inevitable slow down in building.
It would be interesting and, surprising to many people, to see the number of new build affordable units standing empty on developments throughout the Northeast.
I think it's all about supply and demand. If there is no demand for affordable houses and Housing Associations are not prepared to take them on, then there will be an inevitable slow down in building. It would be interesting and, surprising to many people, to see the number of new build affordable units standing empty on developments throughout the Northeast. Mod
  • Score: 0

8:56am Sat 21 Jun 14

Copley23 says...

Butterknowle Boy wrote:
Browser2 is correct Copley23.
There was an application to build 12 houses in Butterknowle, The application had many issues and received numerous objections, however DCC approved the plans stating that the provision of 4No affordable houses outweighed the negative impact.

Once approved the applicant then submitted an amendment to the plans to remove the 4No affordable houses as they claimed there had been no interest from social landloards, so there wasn't a need in the area

DCC agreed with the applicant and the affordable houses were removed - The ONLY reason application was granted in the first place.

The applicant dose however need to contribute £12k towards local recreational spaces - but where this goes and how it is spent is anyones guess.
Yes - I know the plot you are talking about here.......and I noticed the number of 'for sale' boards that went up around the area......and I know the applicant. And yes, it stinks.

One good way to demoralise and spoil a small village, strip it of it's personality and throw a few boxes in for folk to live it....geez, DCC, the master of in-fill.......and don't even get me started on the new builds with their front doors on the pavement. Awful.
[quote][p][bold]Butterknowle Boy[/bold] wrote: Browser2 is correct Copley23. There was an application to build 12 houses in Butterknowle, The application had many issues and received numerous objections, however DCC approved the plans stating that the provision of 4No affordable houses outweighed the negative impact. Once approved the applicant then submitted an amendment to the plans to remove the 4No affordable houses as they claimed there had been no interest from social landloards, so there wasn't a need in the area DCC agreed with the applicant and the affordable houses were removed - The ONLY reason application was granted in the first place. The applicant dose however need to contribute £12k towards local recreational spaces - but where this goes and how it is spent is anyones guess.[/p][/quote]Yes - I know the plot you are talking about here.......and I noticed the number of 'for sale' boards that went up around the area......and I know the applicant. And yes, it stinks. One good way to demoralise and spoil a small village, strip it of it's personality and throw a few boxes in for folk to live it....geez, DCC, the master of in-fill.......and don't even get me started on the new builds with their front doors on the pavement. Awful. Copley23
  • Score: 1

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