HCA and associations blame slow transition to current affordable regime
Home completions plunge by a quarter
The number of homes built by leading housing associations has plunged dramatically in the last year.
Inside Housing’s annual survey of the top 50 developing housing associations in England lays bare the impact of a building lag caused by a slow transition from the old 2008/11 £8.4 billion affordable housing programme into the Homes and Communities Agency’s £1.8 billion affordable homes programme two years ago.
The exclusive survey, based on how many homes associations have completed and plan to build, reveals that in the 2012/13 financial year, the top 50 only managed to complete 25,634 homes.
This represents a drop of more than 25 per cent on the 34,435 homes completed by last year’s top 50.
The HCA and housing associations attributed the drop to teething problems experienced at the start of the AHP in 2011.
Trevor Burns, assistant director of development at East Thames Group, the highest new entry in the top 50 at 14, said: ‘I think it’s truly worrying really, because demand [for housing] does continue to grow.’
Bob Heapy, chief executive of Town & Country Housing Group, which dropped out of the top 50 this year after its completions fell to 164 from 493, said: ‘The drop in unit completions can be chiefly attributed to uncertainty during the early part of 2011/12, as we awaited the outcome of our affordable homes programme bid.’
Richard Hill, outgoing deputy chief executive of the HCA, said the government will meet its overall ‘aspiration’ of building 170,000 affordable homes by 2015.
He added that the completions figures were not worrying because the number of homes started onsite by the top 50 has risen by more than 10,000 homes from this time last year. This year the top 50 started 27,938 homes, compared with 17,350 homes started in 2011/12.
The survey revealed London & Quadrant retained pole position with 1,444 completions.
However, several associations soared up the table. Sovereign Housing Group rose from 12th position last year to second place this year, while Orbit was up from 13th to third, and Paradigm climbed from 39th to fourth.
What the survey revealed
number of homes completed by top 50 housing associations in 2012/13
25 per cent
drop in completions compared with last year’s top 50
starts in 2012/13, up - a 61 per cent increase on the previous financial year