The genuinely affordable homes remain an important tool in tackling homelessness with campaigners such as Shelter and Crisis echoing the CIH’s calls for an influx of new properties to meet demand.
But right to buy sales amounted to a loss of 121,000 over the eight-year period with conversions to ‘affordable’ rents seeing 116,000 homes lost from England’s stock.
However, the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government have hit back at CIH’s findings, describing them as “flawed” and taking issue with the decision to not count affordable rent homes in the warning.
The review makes clear that building social rented homes addresses the most urgent housing needs and is the best use of public money
That genuinely affordable housing stock is sitting far below devolved nations, according to Mark Stephens, professor of urban studies at the University of Glasgow and one of the review’s main authors.
He said: “Our work shows that only 11 per cent of new ‘affordable’ homes built in England are at genuinely affordable social rents, compared with nearly 70 per cent in Scotland and over 80 per cent in Wales.
“In contrast to England, Scotland’s social rented stock has grown by 25,000 over the last five years. Scotland and Wales have both halted right to buy. The review makes clear that building social rented homes addresses the most urgent housing needs and is the best use of public money.”
CIH’s review warns the impact of Covid-19 is likely to be felt in the months and years ahead. Just 10,531 affordable homes of all types were started under grant-funded programmes in the first half of 2020/21, compared with 17,980 for the equivalent period in 2019/20.
The Westminster Government has pledged to invest heavily in house-building in a bid to end the long-running housing crisis.
A new £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme is promising 180,000 new homes will be delivered over the next five years.
But CIH has warned that will include just 32,000 new social rented homes outside London in the next five years.
While this figure is 4,000 more than in the previous five years, the housing body has insisted it will not replace future losses through right to buy sales.
Affordable rent homes are considered to fit the criteria when the rent is 20 per cent below local market rates, but it is widely argued that this rate is still out of reach for some of the UK’s poorest. Social rent homes tend to be available at cheaper rent but are in short supply.
A Government spokesperson said: “This is a flawed analysis that doesn’t compare like with like and excludes key aspects of supply and demand – including the fact that affordable rent is an important part of social housing supply.
“We’ve delivered 517,000 new affordable homes since 2010, including 148,000 for social rent. We’re investing over £12 billion over five years, the largest investment in a decade, to provide up to 180,000 new homes – with half for affordable and social rent.”