Fewer homes built in Wakefield in wake of Covid-19 restrictions

Fewer homes have been built in Wakefield following the introduction of Covid-19 restrictions – but more look to be on their way, new figures show..

Monday, 9th November 2020, 7:00 am
Fewer homes are being built

Charity Shelter says the country now faces a worsening "housing emergency" and has called on the Government to ramp up a financial package to provide more social housing.

In Wakefield, 120 new homes were finished between April and June this year, according to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

This was a fall from 410 completed in the same three-month period last year.

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It included a drop in social homes built by housing associations and the local authority with 10 finished between April and June, down from 60 last year.

Across the 12 months to June 2020, 1,290 new homes were finished in Wakefield, a decrease of 28% from the previous 12 months.

Numbers in the data have been rounded to the nearest 10 as they include estimates.

Across England, 16,520 new houses were finished between April and June this year, down from 46,330 in the same three-month period the year before.

The situation has prompted Shelter to call on the Government to invest £12 billion into new low-cost and social homes over the next two years.

Chief executive Polly Neate said: “There are over 1 million households on social housing waiting lists in England, and sadly many more are likely to join them as the recession bites and more people lose their homes.

“On top of this, we are facing a major housebuilding crash that will make the housing emergency even worse."

She added: "If private housebuilding nosedives it will cause a major drop in the number of desperately needed social homes too.

“The Government has to act, and fast. We urgently need a rescue package of social housebuilding to avert a lengthy crash that could wipe out tens of thousands of new homes and jobs.”

However, in Wakefield, construction began 260 new homes between April and June this year, up from 250 last year.

Across England the number fell to 16,460, down 59% from the same three-month period last year.

The Government allowed construction workers at building sites throughout the national lockdown from March. It has a target to increase housebuilding to 300,000 new homes a year.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick last month announced a £12 billion investment plan into affordable housing over the next eight years, aimed at supporting the building of 180,000 affordable homes for ownership and rent.

An MHCLG spokesperson said the ministry was "determined" to build more houses quicker, adding it was overhauling the planning system and providing new investment into housing.

The number of new homes is given to the MHCLG by local authorities, some of which did not provide data so estimates are included in the published figures.

The numbers account for new-builds only, built by private developers, housing associations and local authorities.