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Bradford major housing scheme starts falling – Labour
11:00am Friday 8th March 2013 in News
A scheme to kick-start housebuilding in Bradford has flopped, new figures reveal – despite a Minister’s earlier claim that the city is “leading the way”.
The Government has pointed to Bradford as a shining example of the success of the controversial New Homes Bonus, worth £3.3bn over six years.
But just 44 major schemes – those with more than ten homes – were started in the last financial year, Labour research has revealed, down from 46 in 2010-11 and less than half the 102 schemes begun in 2006-07, despite Labour’s much-criticised housebuilding record.
Bradford is among the 17 local councils that have received most under the New Homes Bonus, a reward for building properties.
It was promised £1.8m in December for the 2013-14 financial year and will receive £5.67m in total, including rolling rewards from previous years.
Nick Raynsford, the MP who uncovered the figures, said: “The evidence from the authorities cited by the Minister as ‘leading the way’ is no better than that seen elsewhere.
“Far from bringing about a new era of housebuilding, the Government’s failed housing policies are making the biggest housing crisis in a generation worse, not better.”
The latest Government figures, for 2009, showed there were 56,072 households on the Council waiting list in Bradford, almost 30 per cent of households in the city.
Councils are able to spend the bonus money on improving local services, such as building playgrounds or bus subsidies, or even on reducing council tax.
However, the policy is controversial because it is funded from the scrapping of near-£1bn annual grants for new housing – which, many councils say, has left them worse off.
Last month, Mark Prisk, the housing minister, defended the scheme, telling MPs: “The more you build, the more you get. That is why we see that Manchester, Sheffield and Bradford have shown the way.”