Affordable homes slowdown in Stroud

Building work on affordable homes in Stroud slowed down during the pandemic.

More than 30 fewer affordable properties were started or completed in the year 2020-21 compared to the previous year, according to Homes England data.

Of the schemes progressing in the area in the year to March, 115 affordable homes were completed, including 29 affordable rentals, 44 social rentals and 42 affordable ownership homes.

Across England, 28,191 affordable homes were started in 2020-21 – 21 per cent fewer than the previous year.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Housing charity Shelter, said: “If this slowdown continues because developers lose confidence, the dream of a safe and secure future gets even further out of reach for many.

“This just shows that we can’t only rely on private developers to build the housing we need – the Government needs to pull its weight and start building homes itself too.”

PricedOut, a campaign group for affordable house prices, says it wants to see the Government press ahead with the reforms proposed in last year’s planning white paper to boost supply.

Reuben Young, affordable homes lead, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a huge drop in new housing supply, and because the supply of affordable homes closely tracks the supply of market homes, this has meant fewer affordable homes too.

“We need to make sure this is just a blip rather than a precedent.”

Peter Freeman, Homes England chairman, said he was confident the housing sector would recover, thanks also to a new £12 billion Government-backed scheme to develop affordable housing.

He added: “The statistics show that we’ve kept making homes happen despite the huge impact of Covid-19 on the housing industry.

“We know there are still hurdles to overcome but we’re encouraged by recent data to suggest the sector is recovering well.

Homes England is sponsored by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to fund new affordable housing schemes.

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