‘Slowdown in affordable housing delivery’ across East Yorkshire as pandemic hits building industry

Building work on affordable homes in East Yorkshire has been reduced as the pandemic was blamed for a slowdown in schemes across England.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 11:00 pm
Homes England data shows building started or was completed on 314 affordable homes in the East Riding in 2020-21. Photo: PA Images

Homes England data shows building started or was completed on 314 affordable homes in the East Riding in 2020-21 – 29 fewer than the previous year.

However, the number of schemes was higher than 2017-18, when 289 affordable homes started being built or were delivered.

Homes England is sponsored by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to fund new affordable housing schemes. Of the schemes progressing in the area in the year to March, 132 affordable homes were completed, including 90 affordable rentals, three social rentals and 39 affordable ownership homes.

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

The proportion of affordable homes completed also dropped by 15%, to 24,023.

Housing charity Shelter says with over a million households on the waiting list for a social home, any drop in affordable house building was a big problem.

Polly Neate, the charity’s chief executive, 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.”

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.

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.”