Labour tears into Government as social rent builds hit record low
Labour has torn into the Government after the number of new homes built for affordable rent hit its lowest level since records began.
Some 5,380 homes boasting rent bills below market prices came on stream in the 2016/17 financial year, official figures released today show.
That compares to 6,800 in the previous financial year and 39,500 in 2010/11. It means the number has fallen by 86% since the Conservatives came to power.
Meanwhile the number of homes offered for sale at affordable prices dropped from 3,490 in 2015/16 to 2,060 in 2016/17.
The figure was almost 16,000 in 2014/15 - meaning the number has fallen by some 87% in just two years.
It comes amid pressure on the Government as the housing crisis in Britain continues to bite.
Overall the number of new affordable homes across all types was 41,500 in 2016/17, up from 32,600 the year before.
But it is a far cry from the 61,000 built in 2010/11, meaning the number is still 30% lower than when the Conservatives took office as part of the coalition government.
Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey blasted: “After the Grenfell Tower fire Theresa May admitted the Conservatives haven’t given enough attention to social housing. These shocking figures show she was right.
“The number of new social rented homes being built is now at the lowest level on record, and the number of new low-cost homes to buy is at just half the level it was under Labour.
“After seven years of failure on housing the Chancellor must use the Budget to tackle the housing crisis.”
Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn today urged the Government to commit Budget funds to retrofitting sprinklers in council high rise buildings.
Despite the devastating Grenfell Tower fire earlier this year the Government has so far refused to hand councils cash to retrofit their towers.
At a speech in central London Mr Corbyn declared: “The Grenfell Tower fire was an entirely avoidable human disaster that must not be repeated.”