SCHEMES to deliver more than 500 badly-needed affordable homes across the region hang in the balance – and will learn their fate within weeks.

The 11 projects – worth a total of £19.61m – were all put on ice when the Government said it had found a “black hole” in Labour’s spending plans.

Now housing chiefs are preparing to announce if any of the schemes can go ahead, after searching for money in other funding pots.

The Northern Echo: Housing projects

Their decision will also be crucial for the construction industry in the North-East, already dealt a blow by the axing of the Building Schools for the Future programme.

The 11 schemes include two in both County Durham and Stockton, plus one each in Darlington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough.

By far the largest is the proposal to build 106 homes in Beaumont Hill, Darlington (£4.24m), followed by 84 homes in Belle View, Hartlepool (£3.18m) and 66 homes in Castletown (Aviary), Sunderland (£5.12m).

Stockton would benefit from more than 100 new homes, in Northshore (£2.63m) and Whitewater Glade (£366,900).

Most of the schemes were announced as part of Labour’s Kickstart programme, which also aimed to deliver apprenticeships and jobs to local people. Others were local authority-led.

In June, about 160 social housing schemes across the country were shelved in a political row that left the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the quango overseeing the projects, with a £450m funding shortfall.

David Cameron said Labour had promised cash that did not exist, telling MPs: “A promise of extra spending was made but the money was not found.”

But Labour denied the claim, insisting firm agreements had been reached with the Treasury and accusing the Tories of “pure and simple spin” to disguise unnecessary cuts.

A study, last year found that more than two-thirds of young families in parts of the North-East have no choice but to rent because they cannot afford a home, despite lower property prices.

And about 107,000 families in the region are waiting for a home, including in Middlesbrough (20.6 per cent of households), Hartlepool (9.5 per cent) and County Durham (8.1 per cent).

Since June, the North-East arm of the HCA has been working to find available cash in other affordable housing funding pots, in a bid to rescue some of the 11 frozen schemes.