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Half-a-million affordable homes at risk

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by Gill Montia
”Half-a-million

Over half-a-million affordable homes could be axed from the Government’s building plans over the next ten years, a campaign group has warned.

Proposed public spending cuts have prompted The National Housing Federation to study the figures and come up with a total of 556,000 affordable homes at risk, in favour of a 17.98% reduction the housing budget as hinted at in the pre-Budget report.

In addition, 278,000 jobs and apprenticeships in the construction industry and the wider economy would either be lost or never created.

Prior to the credit crisis, the Government pledged to build three million homes by 2020, a million of which would be affordable.

An estimated 162,000 affordable homes will have been built by April 2011, however, if cuts are implemented only 444,000 will be completed by 2020.

On this basis, it could take the Government until 2038 to build its envisaged one million affordable dwellings.

According to the Federation, waiting lists for affordable housing currently stand at record levels of 4.5 million people, and the body believes a further 1.25 million could be added in the years ahead.

The Federation also warns that the poorest communities would be hardest hit by the delay, as bad housing conditions are closely linked with poor health, poor educational attainment and higher crime rates.

Federation chief executive, David Orr, says: “Reducing the number of new homes by such a huge degree would kill off the dreams of more than a million people in desperate need of decent, affordable housing – leaving many to live in cramped, unsuitable conditions for a generation.”

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News posted: January 25, 2010

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