Housing budget needs review, says trade body…

A street of houses with a 'rent' sign

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) has called for a housing budget review after government figures showed a huge drop in the number of “genuinely affordable” homes built in England.

The number of properties built for social renters per year has fallen from 36,000 to just over 1,000 since 2010.

Almost 80% of the current housing budget will be spent on private housing schemes like Help to Buy up to 2020/21.

The rest is for projects like shared ownership and affordable homes.

The government has stopped funding homes at lower social rents, which the CIH says tend to be around 50% cheaper than market rent.

Instead, funding is targeted at homes for “affordable rent” which can mean up to 80% of the private market rate. At the same time, the total number of affordable homes built has fallen by 50%, from 56,000 to 28,000.

CIH chief executive Terrie Alafat said: “Annual supply remains at least 30,000 homes short of household growth. But it’s not just about building more homes, it’s about building more affordable homes for people on lower incomes.

“The government needs to take an urgent look at rebalancing the housing budget and investing more in genuinely affordable homes for rent.”

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: “Building more homes is an absolute priority for this government.

“Our housing White Paper set out an ambitious package to deliver more homes in the places that people want to live. At the Autumn Statement, an additional £1.4bn investment was announced for the government’s affordable housing programme, increasing the total budget to £7.1bn.

“Since 2010, almost 333,000 affordable homes have been delivered, including 240,000 affordable homes for rent.”