Expect a post-election housebuilding slump
Published:  20 April, 2010

LONDON: Almost 600 000 planned 'affordable' homes will not be built on time if the political parties push ahead with plans to cut the housing budget, according to the National Housing Federation and Home Builders' Federation.

The number of homes built in the UK fell to the lowest level since 1923 last year, as developers battled with their own financial difficulties and demand from consumers was squeezed by the recession and a lack of finance.

In 2007, the Government said it wanted 3m new homes to be built by 2020, with one million categorised as 'affordable'.

At present, 162 000 affordable homes are forecast to be built by next April. However, the NHF and HBF have calculated that if spending is cut by 25%, only 426 000 would be completed by 2020 – 574000 less than planned – and it would take until 2040 to reach the one million target.

David Orr, chief executive of the NHF, said: "The Government believes that we need around 240 000 new homes every year. But if the housing budget is cut by 25% the number of new homes being built annually could plummet to just 100 000 homes for the foreseeable future."

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