Affordable housing falls by 73 per cent in South Yorkshire

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CONSTRUCTION of new affordable housing in South Yorkshire fell dramatically over the last year according to Government statistics – prompting calls for a bankers’ bonus tax to fund housebuilding.

According to figures released by the Homes and Communities Agency, the overall number of affordable housing completed in the county during 2011/12 was 73 per cent less than in the previous 12 months.

In Sheffield, the figure fell from 104 new homes completed in 2010/11 to just two in 2011/12.

South Yorkshire’s total dropped from 858 in 2010/11 to just 231 in 2011/2012.

In Barnsley, there were 98 homes finished compared with 394 in 2010/11, while figures for Rotherham were 65, down from 255, and 66 in Doncaster, against 105 the previous year.

Barnsley East Labour MP Michael Dugher said: “The Government is failing families in South Yorkshire who are in desperate need of a home.

“The Government’s £4 billion cut to the affordable housing budget has not only led to a 68 per cent collapse nationally in affordable house building over the past year, it has also hit the construction and house building industries hard.

“In South Yorkshire, we’ve seen a 73 per cent decrease in affordable home starts. The Government should take action by repeating the bankers’ bonus tax to fund 25,000 new affordable homes.

But the situation is set to improve, with Sheffield Council and private developer Keepmoat having launched a project to build thousands of homes on derelict council-owned sites.

Some of them will be for rent and others for sale at affordable prices and under shared ownership schemes in an attempt to help first-time buyers.