More 'affordable homes' were built in Mansfield despite Covid crisis

More ‘affordable home’ building got underway in Mansfield last year despite the coronavirus pandemic bringing disruption to the construction industry, data reveals.

Homes England figures show that building was started or was completed on 104 affordable homes in Mansfield in 2020-21 – 92 up on the previous year.

The number of schemes was higher than 2017-18, when 16 were started to be built or were completed.

Homes England is sponsored by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to fund new affordable housing schemes.

Affordable house building in Mansfield increased during Covid

Of the schemes finished in the year to March, 34 of the homes completed in the Mansfield area, 21 were ‘affordable rentals’ and 13 ‘affordable ownership’ homes.

Across England, 28,191 affordable homes were started in 2020-21 – 21 per cent fewer than the previous year. The number completed dropped by 15 per cent, to 24,023.

Housing charity Shelter says with over a million households on the waiting list for a social home, any drop in affordable home building was a ‘big problem.’

Polly Neate, the charity's chief executive, said: "If this slowdown continues because developers lose confidence, the dream of a safe and secure future gets even further out of reach for many.

"This just shows that we can’t only rely on private developers to build the housing we need – the Government needs to pull its weight and start building homes itself too.

"By investing in a new generation of social housing, it could provide families with genuinely affordable homes while also supporting the construction industry and boosting the economy.”

PricedOut, a campaign group for affordable house prices, says it wants the Government to press ahead with reforms proposed in last year's planning white paper to boost supply.

Reuben Young, affordable homes lead, said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a huge drop in new housing supply, and because the supply of affordable homes closely tracks the supply of market homes, this has meant fewer affordable homes too.

"We need to make sure this is just a blip rather than a precedent."

Peter Freeman, Homes England chairman, said he was confident the housing sector would recover, thanks also to a new £12 billion Government-backed scheme.

He added: “The statistics show that we’ve kept making homes happen despite the huge impact of Covid-19 on the housing industry.”

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