Figures released today by the Department for Communities and Local Government show that:
- Annual housing starts totalled 143,560 in the 12 months to December 2015, up by 6 per cent compared with the year before.
- Annual housing completions in England totalled 142,890 in the 12 months to December 2015, an increase of 21 per cent compared with the previous 12 months.
Chartered Institute of Housing head of policy Melanie Rees said “The cost of housing means that millions of people are struggling to access a decent home at a price they can afford, so it’s very encouraging to see a 21 per cent increase in the number of homes built in the year to December 2015.
“But we still have a long way to go. We have failed to build the number of homes we need for decades, and today’s figures show that 142,890 homes were built in 2015 – a long way short of the 250,000 experts estimate we need to keep up with our growing population and start tackling the shortfall that has built up over the years. Rough sleeping numbers also out today have revealed that the number of people rough sleeping in England has jumped by 30 per cent – the consequences of our failure to build enough homes hit the most vulnerable hardest.”
“The government is taking steps to boost house building, but most of its investment is focused on home ownership. An increase in numbers is not enough – we need to make sure we are providing new homes for people on all incomes, including those who can’t afford to buy. That means building new homes for shared ownership, for private rent and for rents that are genuinely affordable too.”