Figures released last week (23rd January) reveal that more than 18,000 new build social homes have been given the go ahead for construction in the North West since 2012, ahead of all other regions in the UK.
Barbour ABI, which is a chosen provider of construction data to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the government, has released new data revealing that the North West had an estimated spend of £1.8 billion for 18,000 new build social homes to start construction between 2012 and 2014. This dwarfs the amount of new build social housing units in all other regions, with London given the go-ahead for 14,300, Scotland 7,200 and Wales 1,500.
The data also highlights that in 2014, there were more than 3,700 new build social housing units in the North West that had contracts awarded to start construction, again leading all regions across the UK.
North West based City West Housing Trust, which is currently investing around £75 million to build more than 600 new homes, flats and bungalows by 2018, believes that the trend for delivering more social housing in the North West is likely to continue.
Nigel Sedman, director for Investment and Regeneration at the housing association, said: “We face a huge challenge in the North West with ever increasing demand for social homes to meet growing housing waiting lists.
,”Britain is in the middle of a major housing crisis, and the only solution is to build more of the right kind of homes in places where people want to live. There is still a lot of work to be done to deliver more desperately needed social housing in our communities, and as long as we can continue to access land, the trend will continue in the region.”
Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI commented: “In the midst of the economic downturn it became more difficult for developers and councils to fund new schemes for affordable housing, which may have been caused by a number of facts including funding constraints, suitable land and cutbacks in government spending.
,”Nevertheless, the North West had the most planned social housing units to be built across the UK, demonstrating that the region has been committed to providing social housing in the face of these significant challenges.”
,”However, with a 19,000 strong social housing waiting list in Manchester alone, and many council tenants using the ‘right to buy’ scheme to privatise their council homes, the demand for more units to be built across the North West is likely to continue to rise.”