Figures released by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) report that the number of new affordable homes in England leapt by 55%, with a total of 66,640 homes being provided during the year, up from 42,870 in 2013-2014. The figures also included 16,080 affordable home ownership completions, up 41% on the previous year.
58,560 new build affordable homes were completed over the year, with the remainder being brought on through a range of supply routes, including housing associations and councils. The figures do not take into account any affordable homes lost to the market in the year, but do represent the highest figure in 19 years.
These numbers make for positive reading in the context of England’s housing supply crisis. While many homes were brought on for affordable rent, the Government has emphasised its support of home ownership, and custom build could help deliver this, leading to even better figures for affordable homes for 2016. But the key to achieving this is defining affordability, so that it makes home ownership accessible to those on average salaries. This will be a tougher nut to crack.