'Number of affordable homes being built is now dropping sharply’ (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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'Number of affordable homes being built is now dropping sharply’
A social housing group which is used to building 100 houses a year across the district has blamed reduced Government subsidies and the state of the market for its scaled-back development portfolio of 42 homes.
And Manningham Housing Association said it supported the National Housing Federation’s view that the city has an affordable homes crisis which is worsening year-by-year.
The NHF, which represents housing associations, said a rising number of people were being priced out of a property market where the average house price is £142,000 but average annual earnings are £18,500. Bradford Council has also reported that in each of the last six years only up to 900 new homes have been built annually in the district compared to a target of 2,300, of which only a small proportion will be regarded as affordable.
The Council is now working closely with Incommunities, the district's biggest social housing group, to try to go some way to address the situation and is also starting to build homes itself.
Ansar Ali, chief executive of Manningham Housing Association, said he agreed with the key point that not enough new affordable homes are being provided by the social housing sector or by private developers either directly or through section 106 agreements.
House building companies often agree to build a proportion of affordable homes on private developments during the process of gaining approval.
The stipulations form part of Section 106 agreements signed by developers and councils, which specify how many affordable homes should be built.
Mr Ali added: “Up until the downturn we were developing on average 100 new homes a year. Because finance is now tighter and the amount of subsidy available to social landlords through the Government has been reduced substantially our building programme is more modest.
“In our present development programme we currently have 42 homes on four sites and have funding allocated for a further 56 homes..”
Incommunities is building 65 homes across five sites and is awaiting final Homes and Communities Agency funding approval to build another 40 homes. It has completed 554 homes to date.
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