Call for more housebuilding

20 August 2009

Building site

Shelter has renewed its call for more new homes, as figures released today show that the number of new house builds started in England in the last quarter was nine percent lower than the same period in 2008.

The Department of Communities and Local Government figures also show that the annual number of new properties being built is continuing to decline. In the 12 months up until June 2009, 87,190 new homes were started, down 41 per cent on the previous 12 months and 53 per cent below the 2005/06 peak.  

Shelter chief executive Sam Younger said: ‘These figures clearly show the devastating impact the recession is having on housebuilding, with housing starts down 41 per cent on the past 12 months.

‘Although there’s been a slight rise in the last three months, it is still a drop in the ocean in terms of meeting housing need and demand.

‘With an estimated quarter of a million new households forming each year, and 1.7 million households on council housing waiting lists, we need to build thousands more homes to ensure future generations of people have a decent affordable place to live.’

Mr Younger added: ‘Huge job losses in construction mean the challenge of building enough homes for the future is now greater than ever, and with vital skills and expertise lost, it could be a decade before the industry and housebuilding properly recovers.’