MORE than a third of the homes built in the region by the government body responsible for improving affordable housing were actually sold at market value, new figures show.

Homes England, whose stated aim is "to deliver a sustained improvement in affordability", built 3,433 homes in in the North-East and parts of North Yorkshire between April 2015 and March 2018.

Of those, just 65 per cent were defined as affordable – including social housing and homes with rent capped at no more than 80 per cent of the local market average. Properties bought through a scheme such as Help To Buy or shared ownership are also included.

It means 1,212 of the homes (35 per cent), built by private contractors with support from the Government, were sold or rented at market value.

Last night Polly Neate, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, said that the Government needs to do more to ensure sufficient affordable housing is available.

"We're in the depths of a housing crisis, so it's hugely concerning to see the Government building even fewer affordable homes than in recent years,” she said.

"Our analysis shows that over a million households are now stuck on social housing waiting lists, so we urgently need the Government to come up with a new plan for social housing and build more of the homes that people desperately need."

The figures show that in Stockton, 43 per cent of the houses built were affordable; 83 per cent in Middlesbrough; 68 per cent in Hartlepool; 57 per cent in Darlington; 67 per cent in County Durham; 77 per cent in Hambleton; 100 per cent in Richmondshire; 100 per cent in Harrogate.

The figures also reveal what the future housing situation could look like.

In County Durham, 81 per cent of the 518 new builds started by Homes England over the last year are designated as affordable, while in Darlington, all 42 will be affordable. In Stockton, 90 per cent of the 230 new builds will be affordable, but in Hambleton, just 55 per cent of the 444 new builds will be affordable.

Homes England say that they support property building to fulfil all the housing market's requirements, and that all profits generated are reinvested into their scheme.

Nick Walkley, chief executive of Homes England, said: "These official figures show that the overall number of homes being built continues to steadily increase, but we know there is more to do.

"Homes England will bring together our money, expertise, and planning and compulsory purchase powers to secure the delivery of new homes, where they are most needed, and improve affordability that can be sustained over time.

"We are investing over £3bn of affordable housing grant over the 2016-21 period to help housing associations, local councils and developers build affordable homes for communities across England, and are working closely with the sector to realise their ambitions for affordable housing."

Housing available for social rental, where rents are typically lower than in other affordable housing, accounted for fewer than four per cent of the properties completed by Homes England over the three years. In County Durham and Stockton, two per cent of the new builds were for social rental. Harrogate and Hartlepool both saw three per cent for social rental, but in Redcar and Cleveland, Darlington, Middlesbrough, Hambleton and Richmondshire, none were for social rental.

Labour's Shadow Housing Secretary, John Healey, said: "The number of Government-funded social rented homes being built has fallen by almost 90 per cent since 2010.

"A year since Theresa May admitted that the Conservatives haven't given enough attention to social housing, it's clear ministers are still not building the homes the country needs."

Across England, more than a quarter of the 90,000 homes completed by Homes England between 2015-16 and 2017-18 were not designated as affordable - 24,000 were offered to prospective owners or tenants at market rates.