Following the revelation that new social housing starts fell by nearly 100% in the South East, Labour MP John Denham has slammed the Government’s record on affordable housing. At current rates of building, it would take every home built in the South East in the next 472 years to house Southampton’s families.
Only days after the Government’s new housing strategy has been released, new figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government show the number of new social housing builds in the South East are grinding to a halt:
- The number of starts in homes for Social Rent in the South East has declined from 4594 between 1 October 2010 and 31 March 2011 to just 17 between 1 April and 30 September 2011.This is a drop of nearly 100%.
- The total number of affordable home starts in the South East has declined from 6192 to just 141 in the same period, a 98% drop.
- At 1 April 2010, 16,042 households were on Southampton’s waiting list for Social Rented homes. At the current rate of builds, this waiting list would take 472 years to clear. New waiting list figures are expected to push this amount of time up even higher.
John Denham said:
“This Government is failing to get to grips with the worsening housing crisis. Last year they cut funding for affordable housing by 20% without bringing in any successful measures to get new social housing built.
“The news that it may now take a family in Southampton nearly 472 years to be housed is simply unacceptable.
“The Labour Party has called for the Government to repeat the bankers’ bonus tax to fund 25,000 new affordable homes and we have proposed a one year reduction in VAT on home improvements, repairs and maintenance. Whilst beginning to alleviate the housing crisis in the South East, this will enable homeowners and small businesses in Southampton to create new jobs and apprenticeships in order to get the economy moving again.”