British housebuilding to “fall of a cliff”
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by Kay Mitchell
The National Housing Federation (NHF) has warned Housing Minister Grant Shapps that housebuilding in Britain will “fall off a cliff” this year due to cutbacks.
According to a report by the Federation, the number of new affordable homes built this year could plummet by 65% with housebuilding grinding to a halt.
According to the NHF, which represents England’s housing associations, this would be the lowest number of affordable homes built since 1990 and will hit the 4.5 million people on waiting lists across the country.
Cuts to funding and changes to the planning system could see as little as just over 20,000 homes built, said the NHF.
The coalition Government has announced a £100 million worth of cuts from the National Affordable Housing Programme, which will see plans to build a further 1,453 social homes shelved.
In a letter to Mr Shapps, the Federation’s chief executive David Orr said: “The building of affordable homes could potentially grind to a halt this year – with all housebuilding, including private developer construction, falling off a cliff.”
Last week, Mr Shapps warned that approximately 150 social housing projects were at risk because of a £610 million “black hole” inherited from the former Government.
Mr Shapps said: “Houses cannot be built by targets that don’t work with money that doesn’t exist.
“We have the lowest peacetime rate of housebuilding since 1924 and top-down control that alienates the public and undermines support for new housing,” added Shapps.
However, he has pledged that the Government would introduce incentives for developments and promised to make £170 million available to build 4,000 unfunded, social rented homes this year, protecting more than 3,000 jobs.
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