Cuts will hit plans for 6,000 homes
Government cuts will mean 6,000 planned affordable homes will not be built this year, the shadow housing minister has said.
John Healey said £220 million of cuts announced this week, together with £230 million announced earlier in the year, will also mean 5,000 people won’t be employed to build the homes.
The cuts are to the budget of the Communities and Local Government department, and will be passed on to the Homes and Communities Agency.
Ministers have claimed that Labour left a £780 million gap in funding for its affordable housing programmes, as cash due to be transferred from other departments had not been received.
Under the new government, the Treasury initially put forward £170 million to bridge this gap, but suspended investment in affordable housing until it became clear how much of the remaining £610 million would be available.
It has now said it will be able to find £390 million, leaving the £220 million shortfall.
Mr Healey said all the funding was in place when he left office. ‘The new ministers have changed their minds and have stripped £450 million away from housing this year,’ he said.
‘These are not cuts the government has to make; they are cuts they want to make.’