Labour demolishes HCA affordable homes stats

Report shows 13,549 housing starts on site and 11,867 housing completions delivered through HCA  programmes in England from April to September this year.

Building Site 08

Labour has demolished latest HCA stats showing a ‘rise’ in the number of affordable homes being built.

Shadow secretary of state for housing, John Healey, says the stats in fact show a 98% fall in new social rented homes.

Healey said: “After seven years of Tory failure on housing, homelessness has doubled, home-ownership has fallen to a 30-year low and the number of new genuinely affordable homes being built has fallen off a cliff.

“These shocking new figures show that in the six months before the chancellor’s so-called ‘housing Budget’, the number of new government-funded homes for social rent fell by 98% compared to Labour’s last year in office.

“It’s time ministers supported Labour’s plan to build 100,000 low-cost homes to rent and buy a year, including backing councils to build again.”

Labour interpretation is based on a stats table that includes all government funded affordable homes (HCA and GLA) whivch it says shows that – even including ‘affordable rent’ homes – the number of new affordable homes built down 43% since same period in Labour’s last year, and number of new social rented homes down 98%.

To the HCA the stats show that the number of affordable homes being built continues to increase.

There were 13,549 housing starts on site and 11,867 housing completions delivered through the HCA’s programmes in England for the period 1 April to 30 September 2017.

A total of 9,281 or 78% of housing completions in the 6 months to 30 September were for affordable homes – representing an increase of 7% on the 8,657 affordable homes completed in the same period last year.

However, there was a decrease in the number of affordable starts on site for this period, with 7,082 (or 52% of total starts) compared to 9,344 affordable starts in the same period last year.

This is a decrease of 24% and reflects a challenging operating environment that has been addressed by recent government action, for example the rent settlement post 2020 for registered providers.

There was some serious news for social housing though, with the number of new social rented homes down by 98%.

Nick Walkley, chief executive of the HCA, said: “The latest official statistics show that the delivery of affordable homes is steadily increasing but we know that we need to do more.

“Following last week’s Budget focus on housing, I am confident that the agency will continue to meet the challenge of getting more homes built now and increase supply over the long term.

“We are seeing sustained investment in housing and the sector has been provided with rent certainty and other flexibilities.

“We’re also strengthening our approach with the sector to increase starts, for example recently confirming we will provide finance to developing associations to buy land.

“Now is the time to work together to increase development and deliver more affordable homes across the country.”

In this period, 4,646 affordable homes started in the 6 months to September 30 were for Affordable Rent, representing a decrease of 36% on the 7,218 started in the same period of the previous year.

However, a further 2,142 were for Intermediate Affordable Housing schemes, including Shared Ownership and Rent to Buy.

This is an increase of 18% on the 1,817 started in the same period of the previous year.

There were 7,213 homes completed in the 6 months to 30 September 2017 for Affordable Rent, an increase of 2% completed in the same period of the previous year.

A further 1,895 homes were for Intermediate Affordable Housing schemes, including Shared Ownership and Rent to Buy, representing an increase of 42% on the 1,339 homes completed in the same period of the previous year.

The HCA will publish its next set of housing statistics in summer 2018.

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