New social homes at an all time low
No affordable housing built in South Bucks and Chiltern last year
NO NEW social housing was built across the whole of South Bucks and Chiltern last year, figures reveal.
And according to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) only 70 socially rented properties were added to the market throughout Bucks in 20132014.
This is the joint lowest number of new social housing stock on record, and 82 per cent fewer than the number built in 2010-2011.
But it is a similar tale across England as the number of new houses made available for social rent has fallen by 72 percent. Chalfont St Peter Parish Council Chairman Linda Smith said: “We do need more affordable housing but it’s finding the sites in Chiltern.”
She added: “It’s a big problem in this area, because of the high cost of land. 88 per cent of Chiltern is greenbelt land – we have restricted amounts we have to build on and that is our big problem.”
Social housing is designed to give accommodation to families who are struggling financially, with rents typically set at around 50 per cent of the market value.
In the past three years the government has introduced a new scheme where rented homes are being added to the market with rents set at 71 per cent of market value.
In 2013-14 19,740 of these houses were added to the market suggesting that these new, more expensive homes, are set to eclipse social housing over the next few years.
A South Bucks District Council (SBDC) spokesman said: “It is correct that there were no new affordable homes delivered in South Bucks in 2013 – 2014 with direct support from DCLG funding. However, SBDC did deliver a total of 19 additional affordable homes in the district in 2013 – 2014. These were delivered by London and Quadrant Housing Association without funding from DCLG but with funding support from the council. They comprised 12 new build properties and seven acquisitions of existing properties.”
A Chiltern District Council (CDC) spokesman said: “CDC does not own or manage housing stock but works with various housing associations to enable affordable homes to be provided within the district. In 2013/14 we provided financial assistance to Paradigm Housing to acquire eight affordable rented properties. In addition Paradigm built a further six affordable homes, meaning a total of 14 affordable rented properties were provided in the district that year.”