Government not building enough social rent homes in Mansfield and Ashfield

Only a few new social rent houses are being built in Mansfield and Ashfield
Only a few new social rent houses are being built in Mansfield and Ashfield

Only a handful of new social rent homes are being built in Mansfield by the Government body charged with boosting the national housing supply.

Labour said a long-term decline in new social rent homes is a 'disaster' for people on council waiting lists.

The latest Homes England data shows that 14 homes were started in Mansfield in 2018-19, up from none in the previous 12 months, while just six were started in Ashfield.

But there were no starts in either year for social rent homes, which are pegged to local incomes and cheaper than other housing types.

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 – 13 per cent fewer were started.

John Healey MP, 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, added: “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.”

However, Nick Walkley, chief executive of Homes England, 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.”