Yorkshire had the fewest new affordable homes built in England for five years

Yorkshire suffered the least amount of new affordable homes being built for all regions in England over five years - leading one organisation to call for a "once-in-a-generation" investment to curb a decades-long lack of social housing funding.
Housing in Sheffield.Housing in Sheffield.
Housing in Sheffield.

Data today released by the Liberal Democrats, obtained from the House of Commons Library, shows that just 16,352 affordable homes have been supplied in the region between 2013/14 and 2018/19.

This is second to the North East, where 12,171 have been supplied - but that region has the smallest population.

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When measured by the number of affordable housing completions per 1,000 households living in the area in 2018, Yorkshire and the Humber registers at 7.1 - the lowest in England.

Lib Dem leadership contender Layla Moran MP. Aaron Chown/PA Wire.Lib Dem leadership contender Layla Moran MP. Aaron Chown/PA Wire.
Lib Dem leadership contender Layla Moran MP. Aaron Chown/PA Wire.

Liberal Democrat leadership hopeful Layla Moran MP, who represents Oxford West and Abingdon, said: “These figures show Yorkshire is lagging behind the rest of the country when it comes to building the affordable homes we desperately need.

“Many young people in the region are struggling to get on the property ladder while families are stuck in temporary accommodation.

“This dismal record shows the government must do more to make its levelling-up agenda rhetoric a reality.

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“Investing more in affordable and sustainable housing is crucial to help tackle homelessness, inequality and poverty."

She said that under her leadership, the Liberal Democrats would "make it a priority to fight for investment in affordable homes across the UK so no community is left behind".

It comes as candidates aiming to be the next Liberal Democrat leader will take part in an online hustings debate, held on YouTube and Zoom, tonight from 7pm.

The legal definition of an Affordable Home, according to Shelter, does not actually take into account what the person occupying the home can afford to pay.

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The term refers to a type of home that is not private market housing, such as: social rented housing; Affordable Rent housing; shared ownership (housing that you buy part of and rent part of); and Intermediate Rent homes, which are at 80 per cent market rate housing.

Rob Wall, head of policy at the National Housing Federation, said: "It's no surprise that so few affordable homes have been built across Yorkshire, and indeed the whole country, over the past five years.

"Lack of funding for social housing is a systemic problem going back decades.

"Our research shows that around 5,500 new affordable homes need to be built in the region every year, and the only way to make this happen is a once-in-a-generation public investment in social housing.

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"This is doubly important as we start to think about how the country will recover from the coronavirus crisis.

"As well as providing a secure, affordable home for everyone who needs one, this investment would also stimulate the economy by creating jobs and supporting businesses, which would help the country to weather a potential recession."

A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokesperson said: “Building the homes this country needs is central to the mission of this government and is an important part of the action we are taking to recover from the impact of the coronavirus.

“Since 2010, we have delivered over 486,600 new affordable homes – including over 30,000 in the Yorkshire and Humberside region.

“Over the next five years Government will invest £12bn in affordable housing, the largest investment in affordable housing in a decade delivering up to 180,000 new affordable homes.”