94% less new homes built on Merseyside compared to last year
Over the past 12 months, there has been 94% fewer homes built on Merseyside than the previous year according new figures. It revealed that only 28 ‘affordable homes’ were built in Liverpool from March 2011 to March 2012, down from 428 affordable homes built in 2010 to 2011.
The areas of Knowsley, St Helens and Sefton saw similar declines in the building of affordable housing but the Wirral wasn’t as badly affected. Across Merseyside, West Lancashire and North Cheshire, affordable house building was down by 64% over the past year. In Halton the figures dropped from 193 to 47, in West Lancashire it fell from 137 to 45 however, Warrington saw a small rise from 115 to 132 new homes being built in the area.
The figures for the homes built for the open market are even more concerning, with no homes built in Liverpool and within Merseyside, West Lancashire and North Cheshire, the figures fell from 204 to a miserable 38 homes for the open market.
This dramatic fall in the number of affordable housing being built is increasing the number of people on social housing waiting lists and making it next to impossible for first time buyers to take their first steps onto the property market.
The Labour Party claim that the collapse in newly built affordable housing is due to the £4 billion cut which was made by the Government after the general election. The Labour party pledged to build 25,000 new homes as well as cutting the VAT on home improvements.
The housing minister Grant Shapps has also faced criticism after making comparisons using October to March housing figures with April and September figures instead of a normal year on year benchmark figure. The Labour party has asked the UK Statistics Authority to investigate Mr Shapps claims.
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