Large drop in new Peterborough homes built by government body

Significantly fewer new homes were built in Peterborough by the government body charged with boosting the national housing stock last year, figures show.

Thursday, 4th July 2019, 4:59 pm
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The latest Homes England data shows that 133 homes were started in Peterborough in 2018/19, down from 544 in the previous year.

This bucks the trend across England, as well as the South East, where the number of new constructions increased.

No homes started to be built for social rent, which is pegged to local incomes and cheaper than other housing types.

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This was the same number as the previous 12 months.

Across England, around 45,700 new houses started on site in 2018/19 – seven per cent up on the previous 12 months.

Starts for affordable home ownership, which includes shared ownership and rent-to-buy schemes, as well as affordable rent housing – capped at 80 per cent of the local market value – went up.

Intermediate-rent housing, defined as being between social and market rates, and homes for market sale and rent, also increased.

The only decline was for social rent properties where 13 per cent fewer were started.

John Healey, Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary, said: “This is a disaster for the more than one million people on council waiting lists. The Government’s failure to tackle the housing crisis is now more obvious than ever.

“Deep cuts to investment mean the country is now building 30,000 fewer social-rented homes each year than we were when Labour was in government.

“Households now have to pay higher rents, and as a result the housing benefit bill is higher too.”

Polly Neate, chief executive of the housing charity Shelter, said: “While more new homes may be being built overall, only a tiny fraction are the truly affordable social homes this country actually needs.

“This has to change. The millions of people in housing poverty who are battling to make ends meet each month deserve a better deal.

“That’s why we’re urging the Government to invest in 3.1 million new social homes over the next 20 years to end our housing emergency once and for all.”

The chief executive of Homes England, Nick Walkley, said the latest figures show positive signs that new homes are on the up.

He added: “However, there is still a huge amount of work to do to make sure this trend continues.”