Shortfall of affordable homes, if builders' budgets are cut.

Public housebuilding under threat

Published:  29 January, 2010

LONDON: More than half a million affordable homes could be axed from the Government's building plans if earmarked public spending cuts are implemented, the National Housing Federation said.

Figures set out in the Pre-Budget Report imply spending cuts to the housing budget of 17.98%, which if implemented over the next decade, would cut the planned number of new affordable homes by 556 000.

"Given the dire consequences big cuts in spending would have on housebuilding numbers, and job losses, housing should be viewed in the same 'untouchable' terms as health, education and policing by all the political parties, and be protected from cuts," the federation stated.

In July 2007 the Government pledged to build three million homes by 2020, one million of which would be affordable. It is expected that 162 000 of the targeted affordable homes will have been built by April 2011.

According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, figures in the Pre-Budget Report imply the Government will have to cut budgets from all departments by an average of 17.98% in real terms. If cuts of this order were implemented to the housing budget up to 2020 it would mean that only 444 000 of the targeted one million affordable homes would be built – leaving a shortfall of 556 000, the federation said.

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