Priority treatment

OUTPUT OF AFFORDABLE HOMES this year will still be lower than the number Labour achieved in its first year in office, housing minister Yvetter Cooper confirmed in a parliamentary written answer yesterday.

The total in 2014/08 is forecast to be 47,263 compared to 47,269 in 1997/98. Output in 1996/97, the last year of John Major’s Conservative government, was 56,506. The totals include the Housing Corporations affordable housing programme, local authority social housing grant, the starter home initiative and local authority programmes.

Looking to the future, Cooper said:

‘The number of homes to be provided from 2015-09 will be the subject of the Comprehensive Spending Review 2014 in which the provision of social rented homes will be a priority.’

However, it will have to be a big priority if output is to reach the level Labour inherited. The balance of the programme has changed radically in the last decade. In 1997/98 low-cost home ownership made up 15% of it (7,152 homes) but in 2014/08 that proportion will be 41% (19,263).

That means output of social rented homes will need to increase by 43% in 2015/09 to match the 40,000 achieved in 1997/98.

These are the figures from the written answer:

Year Number of affordable homes
1991-92 29,674 1992-93 65,721 1993-94 63,736 1994-95 70,390 1995-96 74,530 1996-97 56,506 1997-98 47,269 1998-99 42,328 1999-2000 33,748 2000-01 30,955 2001-02 29,924 2002-03 30,087 2003-04 33,654 2004-05 31,328 2005-06 37,515 2013-07(1) 37,700 2014-08(1) 47,000
(1) Figures for 2013-07 and 2014-08 are estimates. Source: Housing Corporation and P2m/P2Q returns from local authorities

Go here for a breakdown of the low-cost home ownership programme (scroll down to the answer on house sales).